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S. G. and E. L. ELBERT 


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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries 


The Colored Historian. 










Tltirteenth Thousand. 


18 82. 


P R E F A C E 

Ajteu availing himself of all the reliable Information 
obtainable, the author ifl compelled to acknowledge the 
scantiness of materials foi b history of the African 
race. 11*' has throughout endeavored to give a faith- 
ful account of the people and their customs, without 
concealing their fault 9. 

Several of the biographical sketches are necessarily 
brief, owing to the difficulty in getting correct infor- 
mation in regard to the subjects treated upon. Some 
have been omitted on account of the same cau 

Cambridgeport, Mass. 

'ublishers' Note tu the 13th Edition. 

Few works written upon the colored race have 
equaled in circulation "The Rising Son." 

In the past two years the sales have more than 
doubled in the Southern States, and the demand for 
the book is greatly on the increase. Twelve thousand 
copies have already been Bold; and if this can be 
taken as an index to the future, we may look forward 
with hope thai the colored citizens are beginning to 
appreciate their own anthers. 



Come forth, historian of our race, 

And with the pen of Truth 
Bring to our claim to .Manhood's rights, 

The strength of written proof ; 
Drawback 1 he curtain of the past, 

And lift the ages' pall. 
That we may view the portraits grand 

That hang on History's wall : 

Tell of a race whose onward tide 

Was often swelled with tears ; 
In whose hearts bondage has not quenched 

The fire of former years 
"When Hannibal's resistless hosts 

Wrought his imperial will, 
And brave Toussaint to freedom called, 

From IIa}'ti's vine-clad hill. 

Write when, in these, our later days, 

Earth's noble ones are named, 
"We have a roll of honor, too, 

Of which we're not ashamed ; 
If, for the errors of the past, 

In chains did we atone, 
God, from our race's sepulchre, 

Hath rolled away the stone. 

And our dear land, that long hath slept 

Beneath oppression's spell, 
Welcomes the manly fortitude 

That stood the test so well ; 
Bearing the record, blazoned o'er 

With deeds of valor done, 
Up to the Future's golden door 

He comes, the " Rising Son." 


The battle's din hath pass3d away, 

And o'er the furrowed plain 
Spring, fresh and green, the tender blades 

Of Freedom's golden grain ; 
But eagle eyes must watch the field, 

Lest the fell foe should dare 
To scatter, while the sowers sleep, 

Proscription's noxious snare. 

Lo ! shadowy 'mid the forest-trees 

Their demon forms are seen, 
And lurid light of baleful eyes 

Flash through the foliage green ; 
And till completed is the work 

So gloriously begun, 
A sentry true on Freedom's walls 

Stand thou, O " Rising Son ! " 

Go forth ! the harbinger of days 

More glorious than the past ; 
Hushed is the clash of hostile steel, 

The bugle's battle-blast ; 
Go, herald of the promised time, 

When men of every land 
Shall hasten joyfully to grasp 

The Ethiope's outstretched hand ! 


Memoir of the Author ..... 9 

The Ethiopians and Egyptians . . . . 36 

The Carthaginians 49 

Eastern Africa 65 

Causes of Color 78 

Causes of the Difference in Features ... 84 

Civil and Religious Ceremonies .... 90 


The Abyssinians . . . . . . . 97 

Western and Central Africa . . . .101 




Toe Slave-Trade lis 

The Republic of Liberia 129 

Progress in Civilization ..... 185 

Hayti l-lu 

Success of Touissant . . : . . .150 

Capture of Touissant 159 

Touissant a Prisoner in France . . . .168 

Dessalines as Emperor oe IIayti . . . .173 

War between the Blacks and Mulattoes of Hayti 185 

Christophe as King, and Petion as President of 

Hayti 201 

Peace in Hayti, and Death of Petion . . .209 

Boyer the Successor of Petion in Hayti . . 218 



Insurrection, and Death of Christophe . . 222 

Union of Hatti and Santo Domingo . . . 229 

Soulouque as Emperor of Hayti .... 234 

Geffrard as President of Hatti . . . .236 

Salnave as President of Hayti . . . .241 

Jamaica 243 

South America 255 

Cuba and Porto Rico . . .... 258 

Santo Domingo 262 

Introduction of Blacks into American Colonies . 265 

Slaves in the Northern Colonies .... 270 


Colored Insurrections in the Colonies . . . 276 



Black Men in the Revolutionary War . . . 282 

Blacks in the War op 1812 28G 


The Curse of Slavery . . . . . .291 

Discontent and Insurrection .... 296 

Growing Opposition to Slavery . . . .319 

Mob Law Triumphant 322 

Heroism at Sea 325 

Ve Iron Age 329 

Religious Struggles 336 

John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry . . .340 

Loyalty and Bravery of the Blacks . . . 342 

The Proclamation of Freedom .... 347 



Blacks enlisted, and in Battle . 

Negro Hatred at the North . 


Caste and Progress 

The Abolitionists .... 



. 352 

. 382 

. 387 

. 393 

The New Era 

. 413 


Race Representatives. 



Attucks, 0. 


Downing, G. T. 


Aldridge, Ira 


Dunn, 0. J. 


Banneker, B. 


Douglass, L. H. 


Brown, I. M. 


Day, W. H. 


Bell, P. A. 


Elliott, R. B. 


Butler, W. F. 


Forten, C. L. 


Banister, E. M. 


Freeman, J. J. 


Bassett, E. D. 


Gaines, J. I. 


Bell, J. M. 


Grimes, L. A. 


Campbell, J. P. 


Garnett, H. H. 


Clark, P. H. 


Greener, R. T. 


Chester, T. M. 


Harper, F. E. 


Clinton, J. J. 


Hayden, L. 


Carey, M. S. 


Jackson, F. M. 


Cordozo, T. W. 


Jones, S. T. 


Cain, R. H. 


Jordan, E., Sir 


Douglass, P. 


Lewis, E. 


Delany, M. R. 


Langston, J. M. 






De Mortie, L. 


Pansier, A. II. 


Martin, J. S. 


Ruffin, (I. L. 


Nell, W. C. 


Still, W. 


Purvis, C. B. 


Simpson, W. Jl. 


Purvis, R. 


Smith, M'Cune 


Pinchback, P. B. S. 


Smith, S. 


Pennington, J. W. C. 


Smith, E. W. 


Payne, I). A. 


Tanner, B. T. 


Perry, R. L. 


Vashon, (i. B. 


Quinn, W. P. 


Wheatley, P. 


Reason, C. L. 
Ray, C. B. 



\ V M VT111II 


» » (IV 1 1 1 il 1 1 , 

Wilson, W. J. 

Remond, C. L. 


Whipper, W. 


Ruggles, D. 


Wears, I. C. 


Reveles, II. R. 


Zuille, J. J. 


Rainey, J. II. 




Thirty years ago, a young colored man came to my 
father's house at Aurora, Erie County, New York, to 
deliver a lecture on the subject of American Slavery, 
and the following morning I sat upon his knee while he 
told me the story of his life and escape from the South. 
Although a boy of eight years, I still remember the main 
features of the narrative, and the impression it made 
upon my mind, and the talk the lecture of the previous 
night created in our little quiet town. That man was 
William Wells Brown, now so widely-known, both at 
home and abroad. It is therefore with no little hesi- 
tancy that I consent to pen this sketch of one whose 
name has for many years been a household word in our 



William Wells Brown was born in Lexington, 
Ky., in the year 181 6. His mother was a slave, his 
father a slaveholder. The boy was taken to the State 
of Missouri in infancy, and spent his boyhood in 
St. Louis. At the age of ten years he was hired out to 
a captain of a steamboat running between St. Louis and 
New Orleans, where he remained a year or two, and was 
then employed as office boy by Elijah P. Lovejoy, who 
was at that time editor of the St. Louis Times. Here 
William first began the groundwork of his education. 
After one year spent in the printing office, the object 
of our sketch was again let out to a captain of one of 
the steamboats plying on the river. In the year 1834 
William made his escape from the boat, and came 

He at once obtained a situation on a steamer 
on Lake Erie* where, in the position of steward, he 
was of great service to fugitive slaves making their 
way to Canada. In a single year he gave a free pas- 
sage across the lake to sixty-five fugitives. Making 
his home in Buffalo, Mr. Brown organized a vigi- 
lance committee whose duties were to protect and 
aid slaves, while passing through that city on their 
way to the ''Land of the free," or to the eastern States. 
As chairman of that committee, Mr. Brown was of 
great assistance to the fleeing bondmen. The Asso- 
ciation kept a fund on hand to employ counsel in case 
of capture of a fugitive, besides furnishing all with 


clothing, shoes, and whatever was needed by those 
who were in want. Escaping from the South without 
education, the subject of our sketch spent the winter 
nights in an evening school and availed himself of pri- 
vate instructions to gain what had been denied him in 
his younger days. 

In the autumn of 1843, he accepted an agency to 
lecture for the Anti-slavery Society, and continued 
his labors in connection with that movement until 
1849; when he accepted an invitation to visit England. 

As soon as it was understood that the fugitive slave 

• <^ 

was going abroad, the American Peace Society elected 
him as a delegate to represent them at the Peace Con- 
gress at Paris. 

Without any solicitation, the Executive Committee 
of the American Anti-slavery Society strongly recom- 
mended Mr. Brown to the friends of freedom in Great 
Britain. The President of the above Society gave 
him private letters to some of the leading men and 
women in Europe. In addition to these, the colored 
citizens of Boston held a meeting the evening previous 
to his departure, and gave Mr. Brown a public farewell, 
and passed resolutions commending him to the confi- 
dence and hospitality of all lovers of liberty in the 

Such was the auspices under which this self-educated 
man sailed for England on the 18th of July, 1849. 

Mr. Brown arrived in Liverpool, and proceeded at 


once to Dublin, where warm friends of the cause of 
freedom greeted him. The land of Burke, Sheridan, 
and O'Connell would not permit the American to 
leave without giving him a public welcome. A large 
and enthusiastic meeting held in the Rotunda, and pre- 
sided over by James Haughton, Esq., gave Mr. Brown 
the first reception which he had in the Old World. 

After a sojourn of twenty days in the Emerald Isle, 
the fugitive started for the Peace Congress which was 
to assemble at Paris. The Peace Congress, and espe- 
ciallv the French who weie in attendance at the creat 
meeting, most of whom had never seen a colored per- 
son, were somewhat taken by surprise on the last day, 
when Mr. Brown made a speech. "His reception/ ' 
said La Presse, "was most flattering. He admirably 
sustained his reputation as a public speaker. His ad- 
dress produced a profound sensation. At its conclu- 
sion, the speaker was warmly greeted by Victor Hugo, 
President of the Congress, Richard Cobden, Esq., and 
other distinguished men on the platform. At the 
soiree given by M. de Tocqueville, the Minister for 
Foreign Affairs, the American slave was received with 
marked attention." 

Having spent a fortnight in Paris and vicinity, view- 
ing the sights, he returned to London. George 
Thompson, Esq., was among the first to meet the fu- 
gitive on his arrival at the English metropolis. A 
few days after, a very large meeting, held in the spa- 


cious Music Hall, Bedford Square, and presided over 
by Sir Francis Knowles, Bart., welcomed Mr. Brown 
to England. Many of Britain's distinguished public 
speakers spoke on the occasion. George Thompson 
made one of his most brilliant efforts. This flat- 
tering reception gained for the fugitive pressing invi- 
tations from nearly all parts of the United Kingdom. 

He narrates in his "Three Years in Europe,' ' many 
humorous incidents that occurred in his travels, and 
of which is the following: 

"On a cold winter's evening, I found myself seated 
before the fire, and alone, in the principal hotel in 
the ancient and beautiful town of Ludlow, and within 
a few minutes' walk of the famous old castle from 
which the place derives its name. A long ride by 
coach had so completely chilled me, that I remained 
by the fire to a later hour than I otherwise would 

" 'Did you ring, sir?' asked the waiter, as the 
clock struck twelve. 

M 'No,' I replied; 'but you may give me a light, 
and I will retire.' 

"I was shown to my chamber, and was soon in bed. 
From the weight of the covering, I felt sure that the 
extra blanket which I had requested to be put on was 
there ; yet I was shivering with cold. As the sheets 
began to get warm, I discovered, to my astonishment, 
that they were damp— indeed, wet. My first thought 


was to ring the bell for the servant, and have them 
changed; but, after a moment's consideration, I 
resolved to adopt a different course. I got out of bed, 
pulled the sheets off, rolled them up, raised the win- 
dow, and threw them into the street. After disposing 
of the wet sheets, I returned to bed, and got in 
between the blankets, and lay there trembling with 
cold till Morpheus came to my relief. 

' 'The next morning I said nothing about the sheets, 
feeling sure that the discovery of their loss would be 
made by the chambermaid in due time. Breakfast over, 
I visited the ruins of the old castle, and then returned 
to the hotel, to await the coach for Hereford. As the 
hour drew near for me to leave, I called the waiter, 
and ordered my bill. 'Yes, sir, in a moment,' he re- 
plied, and left in haste. Ten or fifteen minutes passed 
away, and the servant once more came in, walked to 
the window, pulled up the blinds, and then went out. 

"I .saw that something was afloat; and it occurred to 
me that they had discovered the loss of the sheets, at 
which I was pleased; for the London newspapers were, 
at that time, discussing the merits and the demerits of 
the hotel accommodations of the kingdom, and no let- 
ters found a more ready reception in their columns 
than one on that subject. I had, therefore, made up 
my mind to have the wet sheets put in the bill, pay for 
them, and send the bill to the Times. 

"The waiter soon returned again, and, in rather an 


agitated manuer, said, 'I beg your pardon, sir, but 
the landlady is in the hall, and would like to speak 
to you.' Out I went, and found the finest specimen 
of an English landlady that I had seen for many a 
day. There she stood, nearly as thick as she was 
tall, with a red face garnished around with curls, that 
seemed to say, 'I have just been oiled and brushed.' 
A neat apron covered a black alpaca dress that swept 
the floor with modesty, and a bunch of keys hung at her 
side. O, that smile! such a smile as none but an 
adept could put on. However, I had studied human 
nature too successfully not to know that thunder and 
lightning were concealed under that smile, and I 
nerved myself for the occasion. 

" 'I am sorry to have to name it, sir,' said she; 
'but the sheets are missing off your bed.' 

" 'O, yes,' I replied; 'I took them off last night.' 

" 'Indeed!' exclaimed she; 'and what did you do 
with them?' 

" 'I threw them out of the window,' said I. 

" 'What! into the street?' 

" 'Yes; into the street,' I said. 

" 'What did you do that for?' 

" 'They were wet; and I was afraid that if I left 
them in the room they would be put on at night, and 
give somebody else a cold.' 

" 'Then, sir,' said she, 'you'll have to pay foi 


" 'Make out your bill, madam,' I replied, 'and put 
the price of the wet sheets in it, and I will send it 
to the Times, and let the public know how much you 
charge for wet sheets.' 

"I turned upon my heel, and went back to the 
sitting-room. A moment more, and my bill was 
brought in; but nothing said about the sheets, and no 
charge made for them. The coach came to the door; 
and as I passed through the hall leaving the house, 
the landlady met me, but with a different smile. 

" 'I hope, sir,' said she, 'that you will never men- 
tion the little incident about the sheets. I am very 
sorry for it. It would ruin my house if it were 
known.' Thinking that she was punished enough 
in the loss of her property, I promised not to men- 
tion the name of the house, if I ever did the incident. 

"The following week I returned to the hotel, when 1 
learned the fact from the waiter that they had suspected 
that I had stolen the sheets, and that a police officer 
was concealed behind the hall door, on the day that 
I was talking with the landlady. When I retired to 
bed that night, I found two jugs of hot water in the 
bed, and the sheets thoroughly dried and aired. 

"I visited the same hotel several times afterwards, 
and was invariably treated with the greatest deference, 
which no doubt was the result of my night with the 
wet sheets." 

In 1852, Mr. Brown gave to the public his "Three 


Years in Europe," a work which at once placed him 
high as an author, as will be seen by the following 
extracts from some of the English journals. The Ec- 
lectic Review, edited by the venerable Dr. Price, one 
of the best critics in the realm, said, — "Mr. Brown has 
produced a literary work not unworthy of a highly-cul- 
tivated gentleman." 

Rev. Dr. Campbell, in the British Banner, re- 
marked: "We have read Mr. Brown's book with an 
unusual measure of interest. Seldom, indeed, have 
we met with anything more captivating. A work more 
worthy of perusal has not, for a considerable time, 
come into our hands." 

"Mr. Brown writes with ease and ability," said the 
Times, "and his intelligent observations upon the great 
question to which he has devoted and is devoting his life 
will command influence and respect." 

The Literary Gazette, an excellent authority, says of 
it, "The appearance of this book is too remarkable a 
literary event, to pass without a notice. At the moment 
when attention in this country is directed to the state 
of the colored people in America, the book appears 
with additional advantage ; if nothing else were attained 
by its publication, it is well to have another proof of 
the capability of the negro intellect. Altogether, Mr. 
Brown has written a pleasing and amusing volume, 
and we are glad to bear this testimony to the literary 
merit of a work by a negro author." 


The Glasgow Citizen, in its review, remarked, — 
"W. Wells Brown is no ordinarv man, or he could 
not have so remarkably surmounted the many difficul- 
ties and impediments of his training as a slave. By 
dint of resolution, self-culture, and force of character, 
he has rendered himself a popular lecturer to a Brit- 
ish audience, and a vigorous expositor of the evils and 
atrocities of that system whose chains he has shaken 
off so triumphantly and forever. We may safely pro- 
nounce William Wells Brown a remarkable man, and 
a full refutation of the doctrine of the inferiority of 
the negro." 

The Glasgow Examiner said, — "This is a thrilling 
book, independent of adventitious circumstances, which 
will enhance its popularity. The author of it is not a 
man, in America, but a chattel, — a thing to be bought, 
and sold, and whipped; but in Europe, he is an au- 
thor, and a successful one, too. He gives in this book 
an interesting and graphic description of a three years' 
residence in Europe. The book will no doubt obtain, 
as it well deserves, a rapid and wide popularity." 

In the spring of 1853, the fugitive brought out his 
work, "Clotelle ; or, the President's Daughter, ' ' a book 
of nearly three hundred pages, being a narrative of 
slave life in the Southern States. This work called 
forth new criticisms on the "Negro Author" and his 
literary efforts. The London Daily News pronounced 
it a book that would make a deep impression; while 


The Leader, edited by the son of Leigh Hunt, thought 
many parts of it " equal to anything which had ap- 
peared on the slavery question." 

The above are only a few of the many encomiums 
bestowed upon our author. Besides writing his 
books, Mr. Brown was also a regular contributor to the 
columns of The London Daily News, The Liberator, 
Frederick Douglass' Paper, and The National Anti-sla- 
very Standard. When we add, that in addition to his 
literary labors, Mr. Brown was busily engaged in the 
study of the medical profession, it will be admitted that 
he is one of the most industrious of men. After remain- 
ing abroad nearly six years, and travelling extensively 
through Great Britain and on the continent, he returned 
to the United States in 1854, landing at Philadelphia, 
where he was welcomed in a large public meeting 
presided over by Eobert Purvis, Esq. 

On reaching Boston, a welcome meeting was held in 
Tremont Temple, with Francis Jackson, Esq., in the 
chair, and at which Wendell Phillips said, — "I rejoice 
that our friend Brown went abroad; I rejoice still 
more that he has returned . The years any thoughtful 
man spends abroad must enlarge his mind and store it 
richly. But such a visit is to a colored man more 
than merely intellectual education. He lives for the 
first time free from the blighting chill of prejudice. 
He sees no society, no institution, no place of resort 
or means of comfort from which his color debars him. 


"We have to thank our friend for the fidelity with 
which he has, amid many temptations, stood by th/jse 
whose good name religious prejudice is trying to un- 
dermine ID Great Britain. That land is not all Para- 
dise to the colored man. Too many ol them allow 
themselves to be made tools of the most subtle of 
their race. We recognize, to-night, the clear-sighted- 
ness and fidelity of Mr. Brown's course abroad, not 
only to thank him, but to assure our friends there 
that this is what the Abolitionists of Boston endorse." 

Mr. Phillips proceeded: — ''I still more rejoice that 
.Mi-. Brown has returned. Returned to what? .Not to 
what he can call his 'country.' The white man 
comes 'home.' 'When Milton heard, in Italy, the 
sound of arms from England, he hastened back — 
young, enthusiastic, and bathed in beautiful ait as he 
was in Florence. 4 I would not be away,' he said, 
•when a blow was struck for liberty.' Ihi came to a 
country where his manhood was recognized, to fight 
on equal footing. 

"The black man comes home to no liberty but the 
liberty of suffering — to struggle in fetters for the wel- 
fare of his race. It is a magnanimous sympathy with 
his blood that brings such a man back. I honor it. 
We meet to do it honor. Franklin's motto was, 
Ubi Libertas, ibi jpalria — Where liberty is, there is 
my country. Had our friend adopted that for his rule, 
he would have stayed in Europe. Liberty for him 


is there. The colored man who returns, like our 
friend, to labor, crushed and despised, for his race, 
sails under a higher flag. His motto is, — 'Where 
my country is, there will I bring liberty!' " 

Although Dr. Brown could have entered upon the 
practice of his profession, for which he was so well 
qualified, he nevertheless, with his accustomed zeal, 
continued with renewed vigor in the cause of the free- 
dom of his race. 

In travelling through the country and facing the 
prejudice that met the colored man at every stop, he 
saw more plainly the vast difference between this 
country and Europe. 

In giving an account of his passage on the little 
steamer that plies between Ithica and Cayuga Bridge, 
he says, — 

"When the bell rang for breakfast, I went to the 
table, where I found some twenty or thirty persons. 
I. had scarcely taken my scat, when a rather snobby- 
appearing man, of dark complexion, looking as if a 
South Carolina or Georgia sun had tanned him, began 
lubbing his hands, and, turning up his nose, called 
the steward, and said to him, 'Is it the custom on 
this boat to put niggers at the table with white peo- 

"The servant stood for a moment, as if uncertain 
what reply to make, when the passenger contin- 
ued, 'Go tell the captain that I want him.' Away 


went the steward. I hud been too often insulted on 
account of my connection with the slave, not to know 
for what the captain was wanted. However, as I was 
hungry, I commenced helping myself to what T saw 
before me, yet keeping an eye to the door, through 
which the captain was soon to make his appearance. 
As the steward returned, and I heard the heavy boots 
of the commander on the stairs, a happy thought 
struck me; and I eagerly watched for the coming-in 
if the officer. 

"A moment more, and a strong voice called out, 
Who wants me?' 

"I answered at once, 'I, sir.' 

" 'What do you wish?' asked the captain. 

" 'I want you to take this man from the table,' 
said I. 

' 'At this unexpected turn of the affair, the whole 
cabin broke out into roars of laughter; while my rival 
on the opposite side of the table seemed bursting with 
rage. The captain, who had joined in the merriment, 
said, — 

" 'Why do you want him taken from the table?' 

" 'Is it your custom, captain,' said I, 'to let niggers 
sit at table with white folks on your boat?' 

"This question, together with the fact that the other 
passenger had sent for the officer, and that I had 
' stolen his thunder,' appeared to please the company 
very much, who gave themselves up to laughter; while 


the Southern-looking man left the cabin with the ex- 
clamation, 'Damn fools!' " 

In the autumn of 1854, Dr. Brown published his 
" Sketches of Places and People Abroad," that met 
with a rapid sale, and which the New York Tribune 
said, was "well- written and intensely interesting." 

His drama, entitled "The Dous:h Face," written 
shortly after, and read by him before lyceums, gave 
general satisfaction wherever it was heard. 

Indeed, in this particular line the doctor seems to 
excel, and the press was unanimous in its praise of his 
efforts. The Boston Journal characterized the drama 
and its reading as "interesting in its composition, and 
admirably rendered. ' ' 

"The Escape; or, Leap for Freedom," followed the 
"Dough Face," and this drama gave an amusing pic- 
ture of slave life, and was equally as favorably received 
by the public. 

In 18G3, Dr. Brown brought out "The Black 
Man," a work which ran through ten editions in three 
years, and which was spoken of by the press in terms 
of the highest commendation, and of which Fred- 
erick Douglass wrote in his own paper, — 

"Though Mr. Brown's book may stand alone upon its 
own merits, and stand strong, yet while reading its 
interesting pages, — abounding in fact and argument, 
replete with eloquence, logic, and learning, clothed 
with simple yet eloquent language, — it is hard to repress 


the inquiry, Whence has this man this knowledge? 
He seems to have read and remembered nearly every- 
thing which has been written and said respecting the 
ability of the negro, and has condensed and arranged 
the* whole into an admirable argument, calculated both 
to interest and convince." 

William Lloyd Garrison said, in The Liberator, 
"This work has done good service, and proves it* 
author to be a man of superior mind and cultivated 

Hon. Gerritt Smith, in a letter to Dr. Brown, re- 
marked, — "I thank you for writing such a book. It 
will greatly benefit the colored race. Send me five 
copies of it." 

Lewis Tappen, in his Cooper Institute speech, on 
the 5th of January, 1863, said, — "This is just the book 
for the hour ; it will do more for the colored man's ele- 
vation than any work yet published." 

The space allowed me for this sketch will not admit 
the many interesting extracts that might be given from 
the American press in Dr. Brown's favor as a writer 
and a polished reader. However, I cannot here omit 
the valuable testimony of Professor Hollis Bead, in his 
ably-written work, "The Negro Problem Solved." On 
page 183, in writing of the intelligent colored men of 
the country, he says: "As a writer, I should in justice 
give the first place to Dr. William Wells Brown, author 
of 'The Black Man.' " 


"Clotelle," written by Dr. Brown, a romance 
founded on fact, is one of the most thrilling stories 
that we remember to have read, and shows the great 
versatility of the cast of mind of our author. 

The temperance cause in Massachusetts, and indeed, 
throughout New England, finds in Dr. Brown an able 

The Grand Division of the Sons of Temperance of 
Massachusetts did itself the honor of electing him 
Grand Worthy Associate of that body, and thereby 
giving him a seat in the National Division of the Sons 
of Temperance of North America, where, at its meeting 
ill Boston, 1871, his speech in behalf of the admission of 
the colored delegates from Maryland, will not soon 
be forgotten by those who were present. 

The doctor is also a prominent member of the Good 
Templars of Massachusetts. His efforts, in connection 
with his estimable wife, for the spread of temperance 
among the colored people of Boston, deserve the high- 
est commendation. 

Some five years ago, our author, in company with 
others, organized "The National Association for the 
Spread of Temperance and Night-schools among the 
Freed People at the South," of which he is now presi- 
dent. This society is accomplishing great good among 
the freedmen. 

It was while in the discharge of his duties of visiting 
the South, in 1871, and during his travels through the 


State of Kentucky, he became a victim of the Ku-Klux, 
and of which the following is the narrative : — 

"I visited my native State in behalf of Tho National 
Association for the Spread of Temperance and Night- 
schools among the Freedmcn," and had spoken to 
large numbers of them at Louisville, and other places, 
and was on my way to speak at Pleasureville, a place 
half-way between Louisville and Lexington. I arrived 
at Pleasureville depot a little after six in the evening, 
and was met by a colored man, who informed me that 
the meeting was to take place five miles in the country. 

"xVfter waiting some time for a team which was ex- 
peeted, we started on foot, thinking we would meet 
the vehicle. We walked on until dark overtook us, 
and seeing no team, I began to feel apprehensive that 
all was not right. The man with me, however, as- 
sured me that there was no danger, and went on. But 
we shortly after heard the trotting of horses, both in 
front and in the rear, and before I could determine 
what to do, we were surrounded by some eight or ten 
men, three of whom dismounted, bound my arms be- 
hind me with a cord, remounted their horses, and 
started on in the direction I had been travelling. 
The man who was with me disappeared while 1 was 
being tied. The men were not disguised, and talked 
freely among themselves. 

"After going a mile or more they stopped, and con- 
sulted a moment or two, the purport of which I could 


not hear, except one of them saying, — 'Lawrence 
don't want a nigger hung so near his place. ' They 
started again; I was on foot, a rope had been attached 
to my arms, and the other end to one of the horses. 
I had to hasten my steps to keep from being dragged 
along by the animal. Soon they turned to the right, 
and followed up what appeared to be a cow-path. 

"While on this road my hat fell off, and I called out 
to the man behind and said, 'I've lost my hat.' 

" 'You'll need no hat in half an hour's time,' he 
replied. As we were passing a log house on this road, 
a man came out and said, in a trembling voice, 
'Jim's dying!' All the men now dismounted, and, 
with the exception of two, they went into the build- 
ing. I distinctly heard the cries, groans, and ravings 
of the sick man, which satisfied me at once that it was 
an extreme case of delirium tremens; and as I treated 
the malady successfully by the hypodermic remedy, 
and having with me the little instrument, the thought 
flashed upon my mind that I might save my life by the 
trial. Consequently, I said to one of the men, — 'I 
know what's the matter with that man, and I can re- 
lieve him in ten minutes.' 

One of the men went into the house, related what 
I had said, and the company came out. The leader, 
whom they all addressed as 'Cap,' began to question 
me with regard to my skill in such complaints. He 
soon became satisfied, untied me, and we entered the 


sick man's chamber. My hands were so numb from 
the tightness of the cord which bound my arms, that 
I walked up and dow T n the room for some minutes, 
rubbing my hands, and contemplating the situation. 
The man lay upon a bed of straw, his arms and legs 
bound to the bedstead to keep him from injuring him- 
self and others. He had, in his agony, bitten his 
tongue and lips, and his mouth was covered with 
bloody froth, while the glare of his eyes was fearful. 
His wife, the only woman in the house, sat near the 
bed with an infant upon her lap, her countenance pale 
and anxious, while the company of men seemed to be 
the most desperate set I had ever seen. 

"I determined from the first to try to impress them 
with the idea that I had derived my power to relieve 
pain from some supernatural source. While I was 
thus thinking the matter over, 'Cap' was limping up 
and down the room, breathing an oath at nearly every 
step, and finally said to me, — 'Come, come, old boy, 
take hold lively; I want to get home, for this d — d 
old hip of mine is raising h — 1 with me.' I said to 
them, — 'Now, gentlemen, I'll give this man com- 
plete relief in less than ten minutes from the time 
I lay my hands on him; but I must be permitted to 
retire to a room alone, for I confess that I have dealings 
with the devil, and I must consult with him.' Noth- 
ing so charms an ignorant people as something that has 
about it the appearance of superstition, and I did not 


want these men to see the syringe, or to know of its 
existence. The woman at once lighted a tallow candle, 
handed it to 'Cap,' and pointed to a small room. 
The man led the way, set the light down, and left me 
alone. I now took out my case, adjusted the needle to 
the syringe, filled it with a solution of the acetate of 
morphia, put the little instrument into my vest pocket, 
and returned to the room. 

"After waving my hands in the air, I said, — 'Gen- 
tlemen, I want your aid; give it to me, and I'll per- 
form a cure that you'll never forget. All of you look 
upon that man till I say, "Hold! " Look him right in 
the eye.' All eyes were immediately turned upon the 
invalid. Having already taken my stand at the foot of 
the bed, I took hold of the right leg near the calf, 
pinched up the skin, inserted the needle, withdrew it 
after discharging the contents, slipped the syringe into 
my pocket, and cried at the top of my voice, 'Hold!' 
The men now turned to me, alternately viewing me and 
the sick man. From the moment that the injection took 
place, the ravings began to cease, and in less than ten 
minutes he was in perfect ease. I continued to wave 
my hands, and to tell the devils 'to depart and leave 
this man in peace.' 'Cap' was the first to break the 
silence, and he did it in an emphatic manner, for he 
gazed steadily at me, then at the sick man, and ex- 
claimed, — 'Big thing! big thing, boys, d — d if it 


Another said, — 'A conjurer, by h — 11! you heard 
him say he deals with the devil.' I now thought 
it time to try 'Cap,' for, from his limping, groaning, 
and swearing about his hip, it seemed to me a clear 
case of sciatica, and I thus informed him, giving him 
a description of its manner of attack and progress, 
detailing to him the different stages of suffering. 

"I had early learned from the deference paid to the 
man by his associates, that he was their leader, and I 
was anxious to get my hands on him, for I had resolved 
that if ever I got him under the influence of the drug, 
he should never have an opportunity of putting a rope 
around my neck. 'Cap' was so pleased with my 
diagnosis of his complaint, that he said, — 'Well, I'll 
give you a trial, d — d if I don't!' I informed him 
that I must be with him alone. The woman remarked 
that we could go in the adjoiuing room. As we left 
the company, oue of them said: 'You aint agoin' to 
kill "Cap," is you?' 'Oh, no!' I replied. I said, 
'Now, "Cap," I'll cure you, but I need your aid.' 
<Sir,' returned he, 'I'll do anything you tell me.' 
I told him to lay on the bed, shut his eyes, and count 
one hundred. He obeyed at once, and while he was 
counting, I was filling the syringe with the morphia. 

When he had finished counting, I informed him that 
I would have to pinch him on the lame leg, so as to 
get the devil out of it. 'Oh!' replied he, 'you 
may pinch as much as you d — d please, for I've seen 


and felt h — 11 with this old hip ! ' I injected the mor- 
phia as I had done in the previous case, and began to 
sing a noted Methodist hymn as soon as I had fin- 
ished. As the medicine took effect, the man went 
rapidly off into a slumber, from which he did not 
awake while I was there, for I had given him a double 

"I will here remark, that while the morphia will 
give most instant relief in sciatica, it seldom performs 
a perfect cure. But in both cases I knew it would 
serve my purpose. As soon as 'Cap' was safe, I 
called in his companions, who appeared still more 
amazed than at first. They held their faces to his to 
see that he breathed, and would shake their heads and 
go out. I told them that I should have to remain 
with the man five or six hours. At this announce- 
ment one of the company got furious, and said, 'It's 
all a trick to save his neck from the halter,' and 
concluded by saying at the top of his voice, 'Come 
to the tree, to the tree!' The men all left the room, 
assembled in the yard, and had a consultation. It was 
now after eleven o'clock, and as they had a large flask 
of brandy with them they appeared to keep themselves 
well-filled, from the manner in which the room kept 
scented up. At this juncture one of the company, a tall, 
red-haired man, whose face was completely covered with 
beard, entered the room, took his seat at the table, 
drew out of his pocket a revolver, laid it on the table, 


and began to fill his mouth with tobacco. The men 
outside mounted their horses and rode away, one of 
whom distinctly shouted, 'Remember, four o'clock.' I 
continued to visit one and then the other of the inva- 
lids, feeling their pulse, and otherwise showing my 
interest in their recovery. 

"The brandy appeared to have as salutary effect on 
the man at the table as the morphia had on the sick, for 
he was fast asleep in a few minutes. The only imped- 
iment in the way of my escape now was a large dog, 
which it was difficult to keep from me when I first 
came to the house, and was now barking, snapping, 
and growling, as if he had been trained to it. 

"Many modes of escape suggested themselves to me 
while the time was thus passing, the most favored of 
which was to seize the revolver, rush out of the house, 
and run my chance with the dog. However, before 
I could put any of these suggestions into practice, 
the woman went out, called 'Lion, Lion,' and re- 
turned, followed by the dog, which she made lie 
down by her as she reseated herself. In a low whis- 
per, this woman, whose fate deserves to be a better 
one, said, — 'They are going to hang you at four o'clock; 
now is your time to go. 9 The clock was just strik- 
ing two when I arose, and with a grateful look, left 
the house. Taking the road that I had come, and fol- 
lowing it down, I found my hat, and after walking 
some distance out of the way by mistake, I reached 


the station, and took the morning train for Cincin- 

I cannot conclude this sketch of our author's life 
-without alluding to an incident which occurred at 
Aurora, my native town, on a visit to that place in the 
winter of 1844. 

Dr. Brown was advertised to speak in the old 
church, which he found filled to overflowing, with an 
audience made up mostly of men who had previously 
determined that the meeting should not be held. 

The time for opening the meeting had already ar- 
rived, and the speaker was introduced by my father, 
who acted as chairman. 

The coughing, whistling, stamping of feet, and other 
noises made by the assemblage, showed the prejudice 
existing against the anti-slavery cause, the doctrines 
of which the speaker was there to advocate. This 
tumult lasted for half an hour or more, during which 
time unsalable eggs, peas, and other missiles were 
liberally thrown at the speaker. 

One of the eggs took effect on the doctor's face, 
spattering over his nicely-ironed shirt bosom, and giv- 
ing him a somewhat ungainly appearance, which kept 
the audience in roars of laughter at the expense of 
our fugitive friend. 

Becoming tired of this sort of fun, and getting his 
Southern blood fairly aroused, Dr. Brown, who, driven 
from the pulpit, was standing in front of the altar, 


nerved himself up, assumed a highly dramatic air, 
and said: "I shall not attempt to address you; no, I 
would not speak to you if you wanted me to. How- 
ever, let me tell you one thing, and that is, if you 
had been in the South a slave as I was, none of you 
would ever have had the courage to escape; none but 
cowards would do as you have done here to-night." 

Dr. Brown gradually proceeded into a narrative of 
his own life and escape from the South. The intense 
interest connected with the various incidents as he 
related them, chained the audience to their seats, and 
for an hour and a half he spoke, making one of the 
most eloquent appeals ever heard in that section in 
behalf of his race. 

I have often heard my father speak of it as an 
effort worthy of our greatest statesmen. Before the 
commencement of the meeting, the mob had obtained 
a bag of flour, taking it up into the belfry of the 
church, directly over the entrance door, with the in- 
tention of throwing it over the speaker as he should 
pass out. 

One of the mob had been sent in with orders to 
keep as close to the doctor as he could, and who was to 
give the signal for the throwing of the flour. So 
great was the influence of the speaker on this man, 
that his opinions were changed, and instead of giving 
the word, he warned the doctor of the impending dan- 
ger, saying, — "When you hear the cry of 'let it slide,' 


look out for the flour." The fugitive had no sooner 
learned these facts than he determined to have a lit- 
tle fun at the expense of others. 

Pressing his way forward, and getting near a group 
of the most respectable of the company, including two 
clergymen, a physician, and a justice of the peace, he 
moved along with them, and as they passed under the 
belfry, the doctor cried out at the top of his voice, ' 'Let 
it slide ! ' ' when down came the flour upon the heads of 
some of our best citizens, which created the wildest 
excitement, and caused the arrest of those engaged 
in the disturbance. 

Everybody regarded Dr. Brown's aptness in this 
matter as a splendid joke; and for many days after, 
the watchword of the boys was, "Let it Slide !" 

Dr. Brown wrote "The Negro in the Bebellion," in 
1866, which had a rapid sale. 




The origin of the African race has provoked more 
criticism than any other of the various races of man 
on the globe. Speculation has exhausted itself in try- 
ing to account for the Negro's color, features, and 
hair, that distinguish him in such a marked manner 
from the rest of the human family. 

All reliable history, and all the facts which I have 
been able to gather upon this subject, show that the 
African race descended from the country of the Nile, 
and principally from Ethiopia. 

The early history of Ethiopia is involved in great 
obscurity. When invaded by the Egyptians, it was 
found to contain a large population, consisting of 
savages, hunting and fishing tribes, wandering herds- 
men, shepherds, and lastly, a civilized class, dwelling 
in houses and in large cities, possessing a govern- 



ment and laws, acquainted with the use of hieroglyph- 
ics, the fame of whose progress in knowledge and 
the social arts had, in the remotest ages, spread over 
a considerable portion of the earth. Even at that 
early period, when all the nations were in their rude 
and savage state, Ethiopia was full of historical mon- 
uments, erected chiefly on the banks of the Nile. 

The earliest reliable information we have of Ethiopia, 
is (B. C. 971) when the rulers of that country assisted 
Shishank in his war against Judea, "with very many 
chariots and horsemen." Sixteen years later, we have 
an account of Judea being again invaded by an army 
of a million Ethiopians, unaccompanied by any Egyp- 
tian force.* The Ethiopian power gradually increased 
until its monarchs were enabled to conquer Egypt, 
where three of them reigned in succession, Sab- 
backon, Sevechus, and Tarakus, the Tirhakah of 

Sevechus, called so in Scripture, was so powerful a 
monarch that Hoshed, king of Israel, revolted against 
the Assyrians, relying on his assistance,! but was not 
supported by his ally. This indeed, was the imme- 
diate cause of the captivity of the Ten Tribes; for "in 
the ninth year of Hoshed the king, the king of Assyria 
took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria," as 
a punishment for unsuccessful rebellion. 

Tirhakah was a more war-like prince; he led an 

* 2 Chron. xiv : 8-13. 

■f Hawkins, in his work on Meroe, identifies Tirhakah 
with the priest Sethos, upon ground, we think, not tenable. 
| 2 Kings, xv ii : 4. 


army against Sennacherib,* king of Assyria, then 
besieging Jerusalem; and the Egyptian traditions, 
preserved in the age of Herodotus, give an accurate 
account of the providential interposition by which the 
pride of the Assyrians was humbled. 

It is said that the kings of Ethiopia were always 
elected from the priestly caste; and there was a 
strange custom for the electors, when weary of their 
sovereign, to send him a courier with orders to die. 
Ergamenes was the first monarch who ventured to 
resist this absurd custom; he lived in the reign of 
the second Ptolemy, and was instructed in Grecian 
philosophy. So far from yielding, he marched against 
the fortress of the priests, massacred most of them, 
and instituted a new religion. 

Queens frequently ruled in Ethiopia; one named 
Candace made war on Augustus Ctesar, about twenty 
years before the birth of Christ, and though not suc- 
cessful, obtained peace on very favorable conditions. 

The pyramids of Ethiopia, though inferior in size 
to those in Egypt, are said to surpass them in archi- 
tectural beauty, and the sepulchres evince the greatest 
purity of taste. 

But the most important and striking proof of the 
progress of the Ethiopians in the art of building, is 
their knowledge and employment of the arch. Hos- 
fcin's has stated that their pyramids are of superior 
antiquity to those of Egypt. The Ethiopian vases 
depicted on the monuments, though not richly orna- 
mented, display a taste and elegance of form that 
has never been surpassed. In sculpture and coloring, 

* 2 Kings, xix : 9. 


the edifices of Ethiopia, though uot so profusely 
adorned, rival the choicest specimens of Egyptian 

Meroe was the entrepot of trade between the North 
and the South, between the East and the West, while 
its fertile soil enabled the Ethiopians to purchase for- 
eign luxuries with native productions. It does not 
appear that fabrics were woven in Ethiopia so exten- 
sively as in Egypt; but the manufacture of metal must 
have been at least as flourishing. 

But Ethiopia owed its greatness less to the prod- 
uce of its soil or its factories than to its position on the 
intersection of the leading caravan routes of ancient 

The Ethiopians were among the first nations that 
organized a regular army, and thus laid the foundation 
of the whole system of ancient warfare. A brief ac- 
count of their military affairs will therefore illustrate 
not only their history, but that of the great Asiatic 
monarchies, and of the Greeks during the heroic ages. 

7 o O 

The most important division of an Ethiopian army was 
the body of war-chariots, used instead of cavalry. 
These chariots were mounted on two wheels and 
made low; open behind, so that the warrior could 
easily step in and out; and without a seat. 

They were drawn by two horses and generally con- 
tained two warriors, one of whom managed the steeds 

7 o 

while the other fought. Nations were distinguished 
from each other by the shape and color of their char- 

Great care was taken in the manufacturing of the 
chariots and also of the breeding of horses to draw 
them. Nothing in our time can equal the attention 


paid by the ancients in the training of horses for the 

The harness which these animals wore was richly 
decorated; and a quiver and bow-case, decorated with 
extraordinary taste and skill, were securely fixed to 
the side of each chariot. The bow was the national 
weapon, employed by both cavalry and infantry. No 
nation of antiquity paid more attention to archery than 
the Ethiopians; their arrows better aimed than those 
of any other nation, the Egyptians perhaps excepted. 
The children of the warrior caste were trained from 
early infancy to the practice of archery. 

The arms of the Ethiopians were a spear, a dagger, 
a short sword, a helmet, and a shield. Pole-axes and 
battle-axes were occasionally used. Coats of mail 
were used only by the principal officers, and some 
remarkable warriors, like Goliath, the champion of the 
Philistines. The light troops were armed with swords, 
battle-axes, maces, and clubs. Some idea of the manly 
forms, great strength, and military training of the Ethi- 
opians, may be gathered from Herodotus, the father of 
ancient history. 

After describing Arabia as "a land exhaling the 
most delicious fragrance," he says, — "Ethiopia, which 
is the extremity of the habitable world, is contiguous 
to this country on the south-west. Its inhabitants are 
very remarkable for their size, their beauty, and their 
length of life." * 

In his third book he has a detailed description of a 
single tribe of this interesting people, called the Macro- 
bian, or long-lived Ethiopians. Cambyses, the Persian 

* Herod, iii : 114. 


king, had made war upon Egypt, and subdued it. He 
is then seized with an ambition of extending his con- 
quests still farther, and resolves to make war upon the 
Ethiopians. But before undertaking his expedition, he 
sends spies into the country disguised as friendly am- 
bassadors, who carry costly presents from Cambyses. 
They arrive at the court of the Ethiopian prince, "a 
man superior to all others in the perfection of size and 
beauty," who sees through their disguise, and takes 
down a bow of such enormous size that no Persian 
could bend it. "Give your king this bow, and in my 
name speak to him thus: — 

" 'The king of Ethiopia sends this counsel to the 
king of Persia. When his subjects shall be able to 
bend this bow with the same ease that I do, then let 
him venture to attack the long-lived Ethiopians. 
Meanwhile, let him be thankful to the gods, that the 
Ethiopians have not been inspired with the same love 
of conquest as himself.' "* 

Homer wrote at least eight hundred years before 
Christ, and his poems are well ascertained to be a 
most faithful mirror of the manners and customs of 
his times, and the knowledge of his age. 

In the first book of the Iliad, Achilles is represented 
as imploring his goddess-mother to intercede with Jove 
in behalf of her aggrieved son. She grants his request, 
but tells him the intercession must be delayed for 
twelve days. The gods are absent. They have gone 
to the distant climes of Ethiopia to join in its festal 
rites. "Yesterday Jupiter went to the feast with the 
blameless Ethiopians, away upon the limits of the 

* Herod iii : 21. 


ocean, and all the gods followed together. "* Homer 
never wastes an epithet. He often alludes to the 
Ethiopians elsewhere, and always in terms of admira- 
tion and praise, as being the most just of men; the 
favorites of the gods.f 

The same allusion glimmers through the Greek 
mythology, and appears in the verses of almost all the 
Greek poets ere the countries of Italy and Sicily were 
even discovered. The Jewish Scripture and Jewish 
literature abound in allusion to this distinct and mys- 
terious people ; the annals of the Egyptian priests are 
full of them, uniformly the Ethiopians are there 
lauded as among the best, most religious, and most 
civilized of men. J 

Let us pause here one moment, and follow the march 
of civilization into Europe. Wherever its light has 
once burned clearly, it has been diffused, but not extin- 
guished. Every one knows that Rome got her civili- 
zation from Greece; that Greece again borrowed hers 
from Egypt, that thence she derived her earliest 
science and the forms of her beautiful mythology. 

The mythology of Homer is evidently hierogiyph- 
ical in its origin, and has strong marks of family 
resemblance to the symbolical worship of Egypt. 

It descended the Mle; it spread over the delta 
of that river, as it came down from Thebes, the won- 
derful city of a hundred gates. Thebes, as every 
scholar knows, is more ancient than the cities of the 

* Iliad II : 423. 
t Iliad XXIII. 

I Chron. xiv : 9 ; x\i : 8 ; Isaiah xlv : 14 ; Jeremiah xlvi : 9 ; 
Josephus Aut. II ; Heeren, vol I : p. 290. 


delta. The ruins of the colossal architecture are 
covered over with hieroglyphics, and strewn with the 
monuments of Egyptian mythology. But whence 
came Thebes? It was built and settled by colonies 
from Ethiopia, or from cities which were themselves 
the settlements of that nation. The higher we ascend 
the Nile, the more ancient are the ruins on which we 
tread, till we come to the "hoary Meroe," which 
Egypt acknowledged to be the cradle of her institu- 

But Meroe was the queenly city of Ethiopia, into 
which all Africa poured its caravans laden with 
ivory, frankincense, and gold. So it is that we trace 
the light of Ethiopian civilization first into Egypt, 
thence into Greece, and Kome, whence, gathering new 
splendor on its way, it hath been diffusing itself all 
the world over.* 

We now come to a consideration of the color of the 
Ethiopians, that distinguish their descendants of the 
present time in such a marked manner from the rest 
of the human race. 

Adam, the father of the human family, took his 
name from the color of the earth from which he was 

The Bible says but little with regard to the color of 
the various races of man, and absolutely nothing as to 
the time when or the reasons why these varieties were 
introduced. There are a few passages in which color 
is descriptive of the person or the dress. Job said, 
"My skin is black upon me." Job had been sick for 

* E. H. Sears, in the " Christian Examiner," July, 1846. 
f Josephus Aut., Vol. I: p. 8. 


a long time, and no doubt this brought about a change 
in his complexion. In Lamentations, it is said, "Their 
visage is blacker than a coal;" also, "our skin was 
blacker than an oven." Both of these writers, in all 
probability, had reference to the change of color pro- 
duced by the famine. Another writer says, "I am 
black, but comely." This may have been a shepherd, 
and lying much in the sun might have caused the 

However, we now have the testimony of one whom we 
clearly understand, and which is of the utmost import- 
ance in settling this question. Jeremiah asks, "Can 
the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his 
spots?" This refers to a people whose color is pe- 
culiar, fixed, and unalterable. Indeed, Jeremiah seems 
to have been as well satisfied that the Ethiopian was 
colored, as he was that the leopard had spots; and 
that the one was as indelible as the other. The Ger- 
man translation of Luther has "Negro-land," for 
Ethiopia, i. e., the country of the blacks. 

All reliable history favors the belief that the Ethio- 
pians descended from Cush, the eldest son of Ham, 
who settled first in Shina in Asia. Eusebius informs 
us that a colony of Asiatic Oushites settled in that 
part of Africa which has since been known as Ethio- 
pia proper. Josephus asserts that these Ethiopians 
were descended from Cush, and that in his time they 
were still called Cushites by themselves and by the 
inhabitants of Asia. Homer divides the Ethiopians 
into two parts, and Strabo, the geographer, asserts 
that the dividing line to which he alluded was the Red 
Sea. The Cushites emigrated in part to the west of 
the Red Sea; these, remaining unmixed with other 


races, engrossed the general name of Cushite, or 
Ethiopian, while the Asiatic Cushites became largely 
mingled with other nations, and are nearly or quite 
absorbed, or, as a distinct people well-nigh extinct. 
Hence, from the allusion of Jeremiah to the skin of 
the Ethiopian, confirmed and explained by such au- 
thorities as Homer, Strabo, Herodotus, Josephus, and 
Eusebius, we conclude that the Ethiopians were an 
African branch of the Cushites who settled first in 
Asia. Ethiop, in the Greek, means "sunburn," and 
there is not the slightest doubt hut that these people, 
in and around Meroc, took their color from the cli- 
mate. This theory does not at all conflict with that 
of the common origin of man. Although the descend- 
ants of Cush were black, it does not follow that all 
the offspring of Ham were dark-skinned; but only 
those who settled in a climate that altered their color. 

The word of God by his servant Paul has settled 
forever the question of the equal origin of the human 
races, and it will stand good against all scientific re- 
search. "God hath made of one blood all the nations 
of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." 

The Ethiopians are not constitutionally different 
from the rest of the human family, and therefore, we 
must insist upon unity, although we see and admit 
the variety. 

Some writers have endeavored to account for this 
difference of color, by connecting it with the curse 
pronounced upon Cain. This theory, however, has no 
foundation; for if Cain was the progenitor of Noah, 
and if Cain's new peculiarities were perpetuated, 
then, as Noah was the father of the world's new popu- 
lation, the question would be, not how to account for 


any of the human family being black, but how can we 
account for any being white ? All this speculation as 
to the change of Cain's color, as a theory for account- 
ing for the variety peculiar to Cush and the Ethio- 
pians, falls to the ground when we trace back the 
genealogy of Noah, and find that he descended not 
from Cain, but from Seth. 

Of course Cain's descendants, no matter what their 
color, became extinct at the flood. No miracle was 
needed in Ethiopia to bring about a change in the 
color of its inhabitants. The very fact that the na- 
tion derived its name from the climate should be 
enough to satisfy the most skeptical. What was true 
of the Ethiopians was also true of the Egyptians, 
with regard to color; for Herodotus tells us that the 
latter were colored and had curled hair. 

The vast increase of the population of Ethiopia, and 
a wish of its rulers to possess more territory, in- 
duced them to send expeditions clown the Nile, and 
towards the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Some 
of these adventurers, as early as B. C. 885, took 
up their abode on the Mediterranean coast, and founded 
the place which in later years became the great city 
of Carthage. Necho, king of Egypt, a man distin- 
guished for his spirit of enterprise, sent an expedi- 
tion (B. C. 616) around the African coast. He em- 
ployed Phcenecian navigators. This fleet sailed down 
the Red Sea, passed the straits of Balel-Mandeb, and, 
coasting the African continent, discovered the passage 
around the Cape of Good Hope, two thousand years be- 
fore its re-discovery by Dias and Vasco de Gama. This 
expedition was three years in its researches, and while 
gone, got out of food, landed, planted corn, and 

4# THE RISING 60S . 

waited for the crop. After harvesting the grain, they 
proceeded on their voyage. The fleet returned to Egypt 
through the Atlantic Ocean, the straits of Gibralter, 
and the Mediterranean. 

The glowing accounts brought back by the returned 
navigators of the abundance of fruits, vegetables, and 
the splendor of the climate of the new country, kin- 
dled the fire of adventurous enthusiasm in the Ethi- 
opians, and they soon followed the example set them 
by the Egyptians. Henceforward, streams of emi- 
grants were passing over the Isthmus of Suez, that 
high road to Africa, who became permanent residents 
of the promised land. 



Although it is claimed in history that Carthage was 
settled by the Phoenecians, or emigrants from Tyre, 
it is by no means an established fact; for when Dido 
fled from her haughty and tyrannical brother, Pyg- 
malion, ruler of Tyre, and sailing down the Nile, 
seeking a place of protection, she halted at Carthage, 
then an insignificant settlement on a peninsula in the 
interior of a large bay, now called the gulf of Tunis, 
on the northern shore of Africa (this was B. C. 
880), the population was made up mainly of poor 
people, the larger portion of whom were from Ethi- 
opia, and the surrounding country. Many outlaws, 
murderers, highwaymen, and pirates, had taken refuge 
in the new settlement. Made up of every conceivable 4 
shade of society, with but little character to lose, the 
Carthaginians gladly welcomed Dido, coming as she 
did from the royal house of Tyre, and they adopted 
her as the head of their government. The people be- 
came law-abiding, and the constitution which they 
adopted was considered by the ancients as a pattern of 
political wisdom. Aristotle highly praises it as a 


model to other States. He informs us that during the 
space of five centuries, that is, from the foundation of 
the republic down to his own time, no tyrant had 
overturned the liberties of the State, and no demagogue 
had stirred up the people to rebellion. By the wis- 
dom of its laws, Carthage had been able to avoid the 
opposite evils of aristocracy on the one hand, and 
democracy on the other. The nobles did not engross 
the whole of the power, as was the case in Sparta, 
Corinth, and Rome, and in more modern times, in Yen- 
ice; nor did the people exhibit the factious spirit of 
an Athenian mob, or the ferocious crueltv of a Roman 

After the tragical death of the Princess Dido, the 
head of the government consisted of the suffttes, two 
chief magistrates, somewhat resembling the consuls 
of Rome, who presided in the senate, and whose au- 
thority extended to military as well as civil affairs. 
These officers appeared to be entirely devoted to the 
good of the State and the welfare of the people. 

The second was the senate itself, composed of 
illustrious men of the State. This body made the laws, 
declared war, negotiated peace, and appointed to all 
offices, civil and military. The third estate was still 
more popular. In the infancy and maturity of the 
republic, the people had taken no active part in the 
government; but, at a later period, influenced by 
wealth and prosperity, they advanced their claims to 
authority, and, before long, obtained nearly the whole 
power. They instituted a council, designed as a check 
upon the nobles and the senate. This council was at 
first very beneficial to the State, but afterwards became 
itself tyrannical. 


The Carthaginians were an enterprising people, and 
in the course of time built ships, and with them ex- 
plored all ports of the Mediterranean Sea, visiting the 
nations on the coast, purchasing their commodities, 
and selling them to others. Their navigators went to 
the coast of Guinea, and even advanced beyond the 
mouths of the Senegal and the Gambia. The Cartha- 
ginians carried their commerce into Spain, seized a 
portion of that country containing mines rich with 
gold, and built thereon a city which they called New 
Carthage, and which to the present day is known 
as Carthaginia. 

The Mediterranean was soon covered with their fleets, 
and at a time when Kome could not boast of a single 
vessel, and her citizens were entirely ignorant of the 
form of a ship. The Carthaginians conquered Sar- 
dinia, and a great part of Sicily. Their powerful 
fleets and extensive conquests gave them the sovereign 
command of the seas. 

While Carthage possessed the dominion of the seas, 
a rival State was growing up on the opposite side of 
the Mediterranean, distant about seven hundred miles, 
under whose arms she was destined to fall. This was 
Borne, the foundation of which was commenced one 
hundred years after that of Cartilage. These two 
powerful nations engaged in wars against each other 
that lasted nearly two hundred years. In these con- 
flicts the Carthaginians showed great bravery. 

In the first Punic war, the defeat and capture of 
Regulus, the Roman general, by the Carthaginians, 
and their allies, the Greeks, humiliated the Romans, 
and for a time gave the former great advantage over 
the latter. The war, however, which lasted twenty- 


four years, was concluded by some agreement, which 
after all, was favorable to the Romans. The conclusion 
of the first Punic war (B. C. 249) was not satis- 
factory to the more republican portion of the ruling 
spirits among the Carthaginians, and especially Ham- 
ilcar, the father of Hannibal, who, at that time occu- 
pied a very prominent position, both on account of his 
rank, wealth, and high family connections at Carthage; 
also on account of the great military energy which he 
displayed in the command of the armies abroad. Ilamil- 
car had carried on the wars which the Carthaginians 
waged in Africa and Spain after the conclusion of the 
war with the Romans, and he was anxious to be^in 
hostilities with the Romans again. On Ilamilcar's 
leaving Carthage the last time to join his army in 
Spain, he took his son Hannibal, then a boy of nine 
years, and made him swear on the altar of his country 
eternal hatred to the Romans, an oath that he kept 
to the day of his death. 

When not yet twenty years of age, Hannibal was 
placed second in command of the army, then in Spain, 
where lie at once attracted the attention and the admir- 
ation of all, by the plainness of his living, his absti- 
nence from strong drink, and the gentlemanly treat- 
ment that he meted out to the soldiers, as well as his 

He slept in his military cloak on the ground, in 
the midst of his soldiers on guard; and in a battle he 
was always the last to leave the field after a fight, as 
he was foremost to press forward in every contest 
with the enemy. The death of Hasdrubal placed 
Hannibal in supreme command of the army, and in- 
heriting his father's hatred to Rome, he resolved to take 


revenge upon his ancient enemy, and at once invaded 
the Koman possessions in Spain, and laid siege to the 
city of Saguntum, which, after heroic resistance, 
yielded to his victorious arms. Thus commenced the 
second Punic war, in which Hannibal was to show to 
the world his genius as a general. 

Leaving a large force in Africa, and also in Spain, 
to defend these points, Hannibal set out in the spring 
of the year B. C. 218, with a large array to fulfill his 
project against Rome. 

His course lay along the Mediterranean; the whole 
distance to Rome beiug about one thousand miles by 
the land route which he coutemplated. When he 
had traversed Spain, he came to the Pyrenees, a 
range of mountains separating that country from 
Gaul, now France. He was here attacked by wild 
tribes of brave barbarians, but he easily drove them 
back. He crossed the Pyrenees, traversed Gaul, and 
came at last to the Alps, which threw up their 
frowning battlements, interposing a formidable obsta- 
cle between him and the object of his expedition. 

No warrior had then crossed these snowy peaks with 
such an army; and none but a man of that degree of 
resolution and self-reliance which could not be baffled, 
would have hazarded the fearful enterprise. Indeed, 
we turn with amazement to Hannibal's passage of 
the Alps; that great and daring feat surpasses in mag- 
nitude anything of the kind ever attempted by man. 
The pride of the French historians have often led 
them to compare Napoleon's passage of the Great St. 
Bernard to Hannibal's passage of the Alps ; but without 
detracting from the well-earned fame of the French 
Emperor, it may safely be affirmed that his achieve- 


merits will bear no comparison whatever with the 
Carthaginian hero. When Napoleon began the ascent 
of the Alps from Martigny, on the shores of the Rhone, 
and above the Lake of Geneva, he found the passage 
of the mountains cleared by the incessant transit of two 
thousand years. The road, impracticable for carriages, 
was very good for horsemen and foot passengers, and 
was traversed by great numbers of both at every sea- 
son of the year. 

Comfortable villages on the ascent and descent af- 
forded easy accommodation to the wearied soldiers by 
day and by night; the ample stores of the monks at 
the summit, and the provident foresight of the French 
generals had provided a meal for every man and horse 
that passed. No hostile troops opposed their pas- 
sage; the guns were drawn up in sleds made of hol- 
lowed firs; and in four days from the time they began 
the ascent from the banks of the Rhone, the French 
troops, without losing a man, stood on the Doria Bal- 
tea, the increasing waters of which flowed towards 
the Po, amidst the gardens and vineyards, and under 
the sun of Italy. But the case was very different 
when Hannibal crossed from the shores of the Dur- 
ance to the banks of the Po. 

The mountain sides, which had not yet been cleared 
by centuries of laborious industry, presented a contin- 
ual forest, furrowed at every hollow by headlong 
Alpine torrents. There were no bridges to cross the 
perpetually recurring obstacles; provisions, scanty at 
all times in those elevated solitudes, were then nowhere 
to be found, having been hidden away by the natives, 
and a powerful army of mountaineers occupied the en- 
trance of the defiles, defended with desperate valor the 


gates of their country, and when dispersed by the supe- 
rior discipline and arms of Hannibal's soldiers, still m 
beset the ridges about their line of march, and harassed 
his troops with continual hostility. When the woody 
region was passed, and the vanguard emerged in the 
open mountain pastures, which led to the verge of 
perpetual snow, fresh difficulties awaited them. 

The turf, from the gliding down of the newly-fallen 
snow on those steep declivities, was so slippery that 
it was often scarcely possible for the men to keep their 
feet; the beasts of burden lost their footing at every 
step, and rolled down in great numbers into the abyss 
beneath; the elephants became restive amidst privation 
and a climate to which they were totally unaccus- 
tomed; and the strength of the soldiers, worn out by 
incessant marching and fighting, began to sink before 
the continued toil of the ascent. Horrors formidable 
to all, but in an especial manner terrible to African 
soldiers, awaited them at the summit. 

It was the end of October ; winter in all its severity 
had already set in on those lofty solitudes ; the moun- 
tain sides, silent and melancholy even at the height of 
summer, when enameled with flowers and dotted with 
flocks, presented then an unbroken sheet of snow; the 
lakes which were interspersed over the level valley 
at their feet, were frozen over and undistinguishable 
from the rest of the dreary expanse, and a boundless 
mass of snowy peaks arose at all sides, presenting 
an apparently impassable barrier to their further prog- 
ress. But it was then that the genius of Hannibal 
shone forth in all its lustre. 

"The great general," says Arnold, "who felt that he 
now stood victorious on the ramparts of Italy, and that 


the torrenl which rolled before him was carrying its 
waters to the rich plains of cisalpine Gaul, endeavored 

to kindle his soldiers with his own spirit of hope. He 
called them together j he pointed out to them the val- 
ley beneath, to which the des cut seemed hut the 
work of a moment. 

4k That valley," said he, "is Italy; it leads to the 
country of our friends, the Gauls, and yonder is our 
way to Koine."' His ey«- were eagerly fixed on that 
part of the horizon, and as he gazed, the distance 

Seemed to Vanish, till he could almost fancy he was 

crossing the Tiber, and assailing the capital. Such 
were; the difficulties of the passage and the descent 

on the other side, that Hannibal lost thirty-three 
thousand men from the time he entered the Pyrenees 
till he reached the plains of Northern Italy, and he 
arrived on the Po with only twelve thousand Africans, 
eight thousand Spanish infantry, and six thousand 

Then followed those splendid battles with the 
Romans, which carried consternation to their capital, 
and raised the great general to the highest pinnacle in 
the niche of military fame. 

The defeat of Scipio, at the battle of Ticinus, the 
utter rout and defeat of Sempronius, the defeat of 
Flaminius, the defeat of Fabius, and the battle of 
Cannae, in the last of which, the Romans had seventy- 
six thousand foot, eight thousand horse, and many 
chariots, and where Hannibal had only thirty thousand 
troops, all told, and where the defeat was so complete 
that bushels of gold rin^s w r ere taken from the finders 
of the dead Romans, and sent as trophies to Car- 
thage, are matters of history, and will ever give to 


Hannibal the highest position in the scale of ancient 
military men. Hannibal crossed the Alps two hun- 
dred and seventeen years before the Christian Era, 
and remained in Italy sixteen years. At last, Scipio, a 
Eoman general of the same name of the one defeated 
by Hannibal at Ticinus, finished the war in Spain, 
transported his troops across the Mediterranean; thus 
"carrying the war into Africa," and giving rise to an 
expression still in vogue, and significant of effective 
retaliation. By the aid of Masinissa, a powerful 
prince of Numidia, now Morocco, he gained two vic- 
tories over the Carthaginians, who were obliged to 
recall Hannibal from Italy, to defend their own soil 
from the combined attacks of the Romans and Numid- 

He landed at Leptis, and advanced near Zama, five 
days' journey to the west of Carthage. Here he met 
the Roman forces, and here, for the first time, he suf- 
fered a total defeat. The loss of the Carthaginians 
was immense, and they were compelled to sue for 
peace. This was granted by Scipio, but upon humil- 
iating terms. 

Hannibal would still have resisted, but he was com- 
pelled by his countrymen to submit. Thus ended the 
second Punic war (B. C. 200), having continued 
about eighteen years. 

By this war with the Romans, the Carthaginians lost 
most of their colonies, and became in a measure, a 
Roman province. Notwithstanding his late reverses, 
Hannnibal entered the Carthaginian senate, and contin- 
ued at the head of the state, reforming abuses that had 
crept into the management of the finances, and the 
administration of justice. But these judicious reforms 


provoked the enmity of the factious nobles who had 
hitherto been permitted to fatten on public plunder; 
they joined with the old rivals of the Barcan family, 
of which Hannibal was now the acknowledged head, and 
even degraded themselves so far as to aet as spies for 
the Romans, who still dreaded the abilities of the 
great general. 

In consequence of their machinations, the old hero 
was forced to fly from tin; country he had so Long 
labored to serve; and after several vicissitudes, died 
of poison, to escape the mean and malignant persecu- 
tion of tin; Romans whose hatred followed him in his 
exile, and compelled tin; king of Bithynia to refuse 
him protection. The mound which marks his last 
resting-place is still a remarkable object. 

Hannibal, like the rest of the Carthaginians, though 
not as black as the present African population, was 
nevertheless, colored; not differing in complexion 
from the ancient Ethiopians, and with curly hair. We 
have but little account of this wonderful man except 
from his enemies, the Romans, and nothing from them 
but his public career. Prejudiced as are these sources 
of evidence, they still exhibit him as one of the most 
extraordinary men that have ever lived. 

Many of the events of his life remind us of the career 
of Napoleon. Like him, he crossed the Alps with a 
great army; like him, he was repeatedly victorious 
over disciplined and powerful forces in Italy; like 
him, he was finally overwhelmed in a great battle; 
like him, he was a statesman, as well as a general; 
like him, he was the idol of the army; like him, he 
was finally driven from his country, and died in exile.* 

* "Famous Men of Ancient Times," p. 154. 


Yet, no one of Napoleon's achievements was equal to 
that of Hannibal in crossing the Alps, if we consider 
the difficulties he had to encounter; nor has anything 
in generalship surpassed the ability he displayed in 
sustaining himself and his army for sixteen years in 
Italy, in the face of Rome, and without asking for 
assistance from his own country. 

We now pass to the destruction of Carthage, and the 
dispersion of its inhabitants. Fifty years had inter- 
vened since Hannibal with his victorious legions stood 
at the gates of Rome ; the Carthaginian territory had 
been greatly reduced, the army had witnessed many 
changes, Hannibal and his generals were dead, and a 
Roman army under Scipio, flushed with victory and 
anxious for booty, were at the gates of Carthage. 

For half a century the Carthaginians had faithfully 
kept all their humiliating treaties with the Romans; 
borne patiently the insults and arrogance of Masinissa, 
king of Numidia, whose impositions on Carthage were 
always upheld by the strong arm of Rome; at last, 
however, a serious difficulty arose between Carthage 
and Numidia, for the settlement of which the Roman 
senate dispatched commissioners to visit the contending 
parties and report. 

Unfortunately for the Carthaginians, one of these 
commissioners was Cato the elder, who had long enter- 
tained a determined hatred to Carthage. Indeed, he 
had, for the preceding twenty years, scarcely ever made 
a speech without closing with, — "Delenda est Car- 
thago." — Carthage must be destroyed. Animated by 
this spirit, it can easily be imagined that Cato would 
give the weight of his influence against the Car- 
thaginians in everything touching their interest. 


While inspecting the great city, Cato was struck with 
its magnificence and remaining wealth, which strength- 
ened him in the opinion that the ultimate success of 
Rome depended upon the destruction of Carthage; and 
he labored to bring about that result. 

Scipio demanded that Carthage should deliver up all 
its materials of war as a token of submission, which 
demand was complied with; and the contents of their 
magazines, consisting of two hundred thousand com- 
plete suits of armor, two thousand catapults, and an 
immense number of spears, swords, bows and arrows. 
Having disarmed themselves, they waited to hear the 
final sentence. The next demand was for the delivery 
of the navy; this too was complied with. It was then 
announced that the city was to be razed to the ground, 
the inhabitants sent elsewhere for a residence, and 
that the Carthaginian name was to be blotted out. 
Just then the navy, the largest in the world, contain- 
ing vessels of great strength and beauty, was set on 
fire, the flames of which lighted up with appalling 
effect the coast forty miles around. 

The destruction of this fleet, the naval accumula- 
tion of five centuries, was a severe blow to the pride 
of the conquered Carthaginians, and taking courage 
from despair, they closed the gates of the city, and 
resolved that they would fight to the last. 

As in all commonwealths, there were two political 
parties in Carthage, struggling for the ascendency; 
one, republican, devoted to the liberty of the people 
and the welfare of the State ; the other, conservative 
in its character, and in favor of Roman rule. It was 
this last party that had disarmed the State at the 
bidding of the Roman invaders; and now that the 


people had risen, the conservatives who could, fled 
from the city, to escape the indignation of the masses. 

Unarmed and surrounded by an army of one hun- 
dred thousand men, resistance seemed to be madness; 
yet they resisted with a heroism that surprised and 
won the esteem of their hard-hearted conquerors. 

Everything was done to repair the damage already 
sustained by the surrender of their navy and muni- 
tions of war. The pavements of the streets were torn 
up, houses demolished, and statues broken to pieces to 
obtain stones for weapons, which were carried upon 
the ramparts for defence. Everybody that could 
work at a forge was employed in manufacturing swords, 
spear-heads, pikes, and such other weapons as could 
be made with the greatest facility and dispatch. They 
used all the iron and brass that could be obtained, 
then melted down vases, statues, and the precious 
metals, and tipped their spears with an inferior point- 
ing of silver and gold. 

When the supply of hemp and twine for cordage 
for their bows had failed, the young maidens cut off 
their hair, and twisted and braided it into cords to be 
used as bow-strings for propelling the arrows which 
their husbands and brothers made. Nothing in the 
history of war, either ancient or modern, will bear a 
comparison with this, the last struggle of the Cartha- 
ginians. The siege thus begun was carried on more 
than «two years; the people, driven to the last limit of 
human endurance, had aroused themselves to a hope- 
less resistance in a sort of frenzy of despair, and 
fought with a courage and a desperation that compelled 
the Romans to send home for more troops. 

Think of a walled city, thirty miles in circum- 


ference, with a population of seven hundred and fifty 
thousand souls, men, women, and children, living 
on limited fare, threatened with starvation, and sur- 
rounded by the siek, the dying, and the dead! 

Even in this condition, so heroic were the Cartha- 
ginians, that they repulsed the Romans, sent fireships 
against the invaders' fleet, burned their vessels, and 
would have destroyed the Roman army, had it not 
been for the skill of Seipio, who succeeded in cover- 
ing the retreat of the Roman legions with a body of 

On the arrival of fresh troops from Rome, the siege 
was renewed; and after a war of three years, famine 
reduced the population to a little more than fifty 

The overpowering army of Seipio finally succeeded 
in breaking through the gates, and gaining admission 
into the city; the opposing forces fought from street 
to street, the Carthaginians retreating as the Romans 
advanced. One band of the enemy's soldiers mounted 
to the tops of the houses, the roofs of which were 
flat, and fought their way there, while another column 
moved around to cut off retreat to the citadel. No 
imagination can conceive the uproar and din of such 
an assault upon a populous city — a horrid mingling 
of the vociferated commands of the officers, and the 
shouts of the advancing and victorious enemy, with the 
♦ screams of terror from affrighted women and children, 
and the dreadful groans and imprecations from men 
dying maddened with unsatisfied revenge, and biting 
the dust in agony of despair.* 

The more determined of the soldiers with Hasdru- 

* " Abbott's History of Hannibal." 


bal, the Carthaginian general at their head, together 
with many brave citizens of both sexes, and some 
Roman deserters, took possession of the citadel, 
which was in a strongly-fortified section of the city. 

The Romans advanced to the walls of this fortifica- 
tion, and set that part of the city on fire that lay near- 
est to it; the fire burned for six days. When the 
fire had ceased burning near the citadel, the Roman 
troops were brought to the area thus left vacant by 
the flames, and the fight was renewed. 

Seeing there was no hope of successfully resisting 
the enemy, Hasdrubal opened the gates, and surren- 
dered to the Romans. There was, however, a temple 
in the citadel, capable of holding ten or fifteen thousand 
persons; in this, many of the brave men and women 
took refuge; among these were HasdrubaPs wife and 
two children. The gates of the temple had scarcely been 
closed and securely barred, ere some one set the build- 
ing on fire from within. Half-suffocated with the smoke, 
and scorched with the flames, these people were soon 
running to and fro with the wildest screams; many 
of whom reached the roof, and among them, Hasdru- 
bal' s wife. 

Looking down and seeing her husband standing 
amongst the Roman officers, she loaded him with 
reproaches for what she conceived to be his cowardice, 
stabbed her children, threw them into the flames, and 
leaped in herself. The city was given up to pillage, 
and set on fire. After burning for seventeen days, 
this great city, the model of beauty and magnificence, 
the repository of immense wealth, and one of the chief 
States of the ancient world, was no more. The de- 
struction of Carthage, previously resolved upon in 


cold blood, after fifty years of peace, and without 
any fresh provocation from the defenceless people, who 
had thrown themselves on the generosity of their 
rivals, was one of the most hard-hearted and brutal 
acts of Roman policy. The sequel of the history of 
Carthage presents a melancholy and affecting picture 
of the humiliation and decline of a proud and power- 
ful State. 

Meroe, the chief city, and fountain-head of the 
Ethiopians, was already fast declining, when Carthage 
fell, and from that time forward, the destiny of this 
people appeared to be downward. With the fall of 
Carthage, and the absorption of its territory by Rome, 
and its organization into a lloman province, the Car- 
thaginian State ceased. Of the seven hundred and 
fifty thousand souls that Carthage contained at the 
time that the Romans laid siege to the city, only fifty 
thousand remained alive at its fall. ■ The majority of 
these, hating Roman rule, bent their way towards the 
interior of Africa, following the thousands of their 
countrymen who had gone before. 

After Carthage had been destroyed, the Romans did 
everything in their power to obliterate every vestige of 
the history of that celebrated people. No relics are to 
be seen of the grandeur and magnificence of ancient 
Carthage, except some ruins of aqueducts and cis- 

In the language of Tasso: — 

" Low lie her towers, sole relics of her sway ; 
Her desert shores a few sad fragments keep ; 
Shrines, temples, cities, kingdoms, states decay ; 
O'er urns and arch triumphal, deserts sweep 
Their sands, and lions roar, or ivies creep. " 



In the desert between the Nile and the Red Sea, 
and among that range of mountains running parallel 
with the coast, are Hadharebe, the Ababdeh, and the 
Bishari, three very ancient tribes, the modern repre- 
sentatives of the Ethiopians of Meroe. The language 
of these people, their features, so different from the 
Arabs, and the Guinea Negro, together with their archi- 
tecture, prove conclusively that they descended from 
Ethiopia; the most numerous and powerful of these 
tribes being the Bishari. 

Leaving the shores of the Mediterranean, and pass- 
ing south of Abyssinia, along the coast of Africa, and 
extending far into the interior over rich mountain- 
plains, is found the seat of what are called the "Galla 
nations." They are nomadic tribes, vast in numbers, 
indefinable in their extent of territory, full of fire and 
energy, wealthy in flocks and herds, dark-skinned, 
woolly-haired, and thick-lipped. 

Passing farther west into that vast region which lies 

between the Mountains of the Moon and the Great 

Desert, extending through Central Africa even to the 


western coast, we come into what may be more appro- 
priatety called "Negro-land." 

It is a widely-extended region, which abounds in 
the arts of civilization. Here are large cities con- 
taining from ten thousand to thirty thousand souls. 
Here is a great family of nations, some but just 
emerging out of barbarism, some formed into pros- 
perous communities, preserving the forms of social 
justice and of a more enlightened worship, practicing 
agriculture, and exhibiting the pleasing results of 
peaceful and productive industry. 

Mungo Park gives a glowing account of Sego, the 
capital of Bambuwa, a city containing thirty thousand 
inhabitants, with its two-story houses, its mosques seen 
in every quarter, its ferries conveying men and horses 
over the Niger. "The view of this extensive city," 
he says, "the numerous canoes upon the river, the 
crowded population, and the cultivated state of the 
surrounding country, formed altogether a prospect of 
civilization and magnificence which I little expected 
to find in the bosom of Africa." 

Farther east he found a large and flourishing town 
called Kaffa, situated in the midst of a country so 
beautiful and highly cultivated that it reminds him of 
England. The people in this place were an admixture 
of light brown, dark brown, and dingy black, appar- 
ently showing the influence of the climate upon their 

The Mountains of the Moon, as they terminate along 
the western coast of Africa, spread out into a succes- 
sion of mountain plains. These present three lofty 
fronts toward the sea, each surrounded with teftaces, 


declining gradually into the lowlands, each threaded 
with fertilizing streams, and fanned with ocean breezes. 

The most northern of these plateaus, with their 
declivities and plains, forms the delightful land of 
one of the most powerful and intelligent of the African 
tribes, namely, the Mandingoes. They are made up of 
shrewd merchants and industrious agriculturists; land, 
hospitable, enterprising, with generous dispositions, 
and open and gentle manners. Not far from the Man- 
diugoes, are the people called Solofs, whom Park de- 
scribes as "the most beautiful, and at the same time the 
blackest people in Africa." 

But perhaps the most remarkable people among 
these nations are the "Fulahs," whose native seat is the 
southern part of the plateaus above described. Here, 
in their lofty independence, they cultivate the soil, live 
in "clean and commodious dwellings," feed numerous 
flocks of sheep and goats, and herds of oxen and horses, 
build mosques for the worship of one God, and open 
schools for the education of their children. 

Timbri, their capital, is a military station, contain- 
ing nine thousand inhabitants, from which their vic- 
torious armies have gone forth and subdued the 
surrounding country. They practice the mechanic arts 
with success, forge iron and silver, fabricate cloth, 
and work skilfully with leather and wood. Like 
the Anglo-Saxon, their capital has been the hive whence 
colonies have swarmed forth to form new settlements, 
and extend the arts of industry; and the "Fellatahs," 
an enterprising people who dwell a thousand miles in 
the interior, are well known to belong to the same 

There are many other nations, or rather, tribes, in 


this vast central region, described by Pritchard more or 
less minutely, variously advanced in the arts of life, 
and exhibiting various degrees of enterprise and 

Passing along the western shore southward, we next 
come to the coast of Guinea, where we find the Negro 
in his worst state of degradation. Hither comes the 
slave-trader for his wretched cargo, and hence have 
been exported the victims of that horrible commerce, 
which supplied the slave-marts of the western world. 
The demonizing influence of this traffic on the char- 
acter of the natives defies all description. 

In the mountains and ravines of this portion of 
Africa lurk gangs of robbers, ever on the watch to seize 
the wives and children of the neighboring clans and sell 
them to the traders. Every corner of the land has been 
the scene of rapine and blood. Parents sell their chil- 
dren, and children sell their parents. Such are the 
passions stimulated by Christian gold, and such the state 
of society produced by contact with Christian nations. 
These people, degraded and unhumanized by the 
slaver, are the progenitors of the black population of 
the Southern States of the American Union. 

Still we are to observe, that though the lowest type 
of Negro character is to be found on the Guinea coast 
and the adjacent region, it is not uniformly degraded. 
Tribes are to be found, considerably advanced in civ- 
ilization, whose features and characters resemble those 
of the central region which we have just described. 

Passing southward still farther, and crossing the line, 
we come into southern Africa. This whole region 
from the equator to the Cape, with the exception of 
the Hottentots, is, so far as discovered, occupied by 


what is called the " Great South African Kaee." They 
are a vast family of nations, speaking dialects of the 
same language, furnishing incontrovertible evidence, 
so says Pritchard, of "a common origin." 

There is one fact, in reference to them, of absorb- 
ing interest; it is that among these nations, and some- 
times among the same tribe, are found specimens of 
the lowest Negro type, and specimens, of the same 
type elevated and transfigured so as to approximate 
far towards the European form and features. Between 
these two there is every possible variety, and the varia- 
tions depend much on moral condition and physical 
surroundings. Along the coast humanity generally 
sinks down into its lowest shapes, and puts on its most 
disgusting visage. 

Rising into the interior, and climbing the table- 
lands, the evidence of decided improvement generally 
appears. Perhaps the most savage of these tribes is 
to be found on the coast of Congo. They are canni- 
bals of great ferocity and brutality. But on the east- 
ern coast are found a people called Kafirs, some tribes 
occupying the coast, and a few the mountain plains. 
Some of these tribes, ' 'whose fine forms and easy atti- 
tudes remind the traveller of ancient statues," inhabit 
large towns and cities, have made great progress in 
the arts of industry, cultivate vast fields of sugar and 
tobacco, manufacture various kinds of cutlery, and 
"build their houses with masonry, and ornament them 
with pillars and mouldings." 

They exhibit fine traits of intellectual and moral 
character. Mixed up with their superstitions, they 
have some lofty, religious ideas; believe in the immor- 
tality of the soul, in a Supreme Being, whom they call 


<k .The Beautiful," who exercises a providence over 
mankind. Such are the nations of Central and South- 
ern Africa; and if we can rely on the reports of the 
best travellers, they furnish some of the best material, 
out of which to build up prosperous states and em- 
pires, that is to be found on the face of the earth. 

We come next to the Hottentots, including the 
Bushmen, who belong to the same race. In the scale 
of humanity, he probably sinks below the inhabitants 
of Guinea or Congo. 

The Hottentot has lon^ furnished a standard of com- 
parison to moral writers by which to represent the 
lowest condition of man. He inhabits the desert, 
lives in caves, subsists on roots or raw flesh, has no 
religious ideas, and is considered by the European as 
too wretched a being to be converted into a slave. 
How came he thus degraded ? 

That is a question which we do not often see an- 
swered, and which must be answered, to the shame of 
Christian Europe. Before that evil hour when the 
Christian navigator neared the Cape of Good Hope, 
the Hottentots were "a numerous people, divided into 
many tribes under a patriarchal government of chiefs 
and elders. 

They had numerous flocks and herds, lived in 
movable villages, were bold in the chase, courageous 
in warfare, yet mild in their tempers and dispositions; 
had rude conceptions of religion, and exhibited a 
scene of pastoral life like that of the ancient Nomads 
of the Syrian plains. In a word, they were a part 
of that stream of emigration to which we have 
referred in a previous chapter, and who evidently were 


living somewhat as they had in the country of their 

Kolben, who saw the Hottentots in the day of their 
prosperity, enumerates eighteen tribes of the race. 
The European colonists hunted these tribes as they 
would hunt beasts of prey. Most of them they exter- 
minated, and seized upon their possessions; the rest 
they robbed and drove into forests and deserts, where 
their miserable descendants exist as wandering Bush- 
men, exhibiting to good Christian people material for 
most edifying studies in * 'anatomy and ethnology.' ' 

There is an immense region, comprising the greater 
part of interior Africa, two thousand miles in length, 
and one thousand in breadth, nearly equal to the whole 
of the United States, which has seldom been trodden 
by the foot of the Caucasian. It spreads out beneath 
the tropics, and is supposed by Humboldt to be one of 
the most interesting and fertile regions on the face of 
the earth. 

"It must be," he says, "a high table-land, rising 
into the cooler strata of the atmosphere, combining 
therefore the qualities of the tierra caliente of Mexico, 
with its 'cloudless ethers,' the luxuriant slopes of the 
Andes, and the pastoral plains of Southern Asia. It 
cannot be a sandy desert, though sometimes put down 
as such upon the maps, because vast rivers come roll- 
ing down from it into the surrounding seas." 

It has long been the land of romance, mystery, and 
wonder, and of strange and tantalizing rumors. The 
"blameless Ethiopians" of Homer, the favorites of the 
gods, and the wonderful Macrobians of Herodotus, are 
placed by Heeren on the outskirts of this region, where 
they would be most likely to be offshoots from its 


parent stock. This country is guarded from the Eu- 
ropean by forces more potent than standing armies. 

Around it stretches a border on which brood malaria, 
pestilence, and death, and which the English govern- 
ment for half a century have expended lives and treas- 
ure to break through. In one expedition after another 
sent out from the island of Ascension, nine white 
men out of ten fell victims to the "beautiful, but awful 
climate. " 

Nevertheless, news from the interior more or less 
distinct has found its way over this belt of danger 
and death. Being a land of mystery, it should be 
borne in mind that there is a strong tendency to ex- 
aggeration in all that comes from it. The Niger, one 
of the noblest of rivers, skirts this unknown country for 
some hundreds of miles, after sweeping away through 
the middle portion of Central Africa already described. 

The "Colonial Magazine," speaking of the explora- 
tion of this river by the English expeditions, says: 
"They have found that this whole tract of country is 
one of amazing fertility and beauty, abounding in gold, 
ivory, and all sorts of tropical vegetation. There are 
hundreds of woods, invaluable for dyeing and agricul- 
tural purposes, not found in other portions of the 

"Through it for hundreds of miles sweeps a river 
from three to six miles broad, with clean water and 
unsurpassable depth, flowing on at the rate of two or 
three miles an hour, without rock, shoal, or snag to 
intercept its navigation. Other rivers pour into this 
tributary waters of such volume as must have required 
hundreds of miles to be collected, yet they seem 
scarcely to enlarge it. Upon this river are scattered 


cities, some of which are estimated to contain a million 
of inhabitants; and the whole country teems with a 
dense population. Far in the interior, in the very 
heart of this continent, is a portion of the African race 
r in an advanced state of civilization." 

In the year 1816, Captain Tuckey, of the English 
Navy, made a disastrous expedition up the Congo. 
In 1828, Mr. Owen, from the opposite coast, at- 
tempted to penetrate this land of mystery and marvel, 
with a like result. But they found a manifest im- 
provement in the condition of the people the farther 
they advanced, and they met with rumors of a power- 
ful and civilized nation still farther inward, whose 
country they attempted in vain to explore. 

In 1818, John Campbell, agent of the London Mis- 
sionary Society, tried to reach this country by journey- 
ing from the Cape northward; and later still, Captain 
Alexander led an expedition, having the same object in 
view. They found large and populous cities situated 
in a fertile and highly-cultivated country, but they did 
not reach the land of marvel and mystery, though they 
heard the same rumors respecting its people. A writer 
in the "Westminster Review," who lived several years 
on the western coast, gives an interesting description 
of the interior of the country. He says: — 

"A state of civilization exists among some of the 
tribes, such as had not been suspected hitherto by 
those who have judged only from such accounts as 
have been given of the tribes with which travellers 
have come in contact. They cannot be regarded as 
savages, having organized townships, fixed habitations, 
with regular defences about their cities, engaging in 
agriculture and the manufacture of cotton cloths for 


clothing, which they ornament with handsome dyes of 
native production, exhibit handicraft in their conver- 
sion of iron and precious metals into articles of use 
and ornament." 

But to no traveller is the cause of African civiliza- 
tion more indebted than to Dr. Livingstone. Twenty- 
six years of his life have been spent in exploring that 
country and working for the good of its people. In 
August, 1849, he discovered Lake Ngami, one of the 
most beautiful sheets of water in that sunny laud. His 
discovery of the source of the Zambesi River and its 
tributaries, the Victoria Falls, the beds of gold, silver, 
iron and coal, and his communication with a people 
who had never beheld a white man before, are mat- 
ters of congratulation to the friends of humanity, and 
the elevation of man the world over. 

Along the shores of the Zambesi were found 
pink marble beds, and white marble, its clearness 
scarcely equaled by anything of the kind ever seen in 
Europe. In his description of the country through 
which this splendid river passes, Dr. Livingstone says: 
"When we came to the top of the outer range of the 
hills, we had a glorious view. At a short distance below 
us we saw the Kafue, wending away over a forest-clad 
plain to the confluence, and on the other side of the 
Zambesi, beyond that, lay a long range of dark hills. 

"A line of fleecy clouds appeared, lying along the 
course of that river at their base. The plain below us, 
at the left of the Kafue, had more large game on it 
than anywhere else I had seen in Africa. Hundreds 
of buffaloes and zebras grazed on the open spaces, and 
there stood lordly elephants feeding majestically, noth- 
ing moving apparently, but the proboscis. I wish that 


I had been able to take a photograph of the scene so 
seldom beheld, and which is destined, as guns increase, 
to pass away from earth. When we descended, we 
found all the animals remarkably tame. The elephants 
stood beneath the trees, fanning themselves with their 
large ears, as if they did not see. us." 

The feathered tribe is abundant and beautiful in this 
section of Africa. Dr. Livingstone says: "The birds 
of the tropics have been described as generally want- 
ing in power of song. I was decidedly of the opinion 
that this was not applicable to many parts of Londa. 
Here the chorus, or body of song, was not much 
smaller in volume than it is in England. These African 
birds are not wanting in song; they have only lacked 
poets to sing their praises, which ours have had from 
the time of Aristophanes downward." 

Speaking of the fruits, he says: "There are great 
numbers of wild grape-vines growing in this quarter; 
indeed, they abound everywhere along the banks of 
the Zambesi. They are very fine; and it occurred to 
me that a country which yields the wild vines so very 
abundantly might be a fit one for the cultivated spe- 
cies. We found that many elephants bad been feeding 
on the fruit called mokoronga. This is a black-colored 
plum, having purple juice. We all ate it in large 
quantities, as we found it delicious." 

While exploring the Zambesi, Dr. Livingstone vis- 
ited the hot spring of Nyamboronda, situated in the bed 
of a small rivulet called Nyaondo, which shows that 
igneous action is not yet extinct. The spring emitted 
water hot enough to cook a fish that might accidentally 
get into it. 

Dr. Livingstone represents the inhabitants, through- 


out his long journey of more than one thousand miles, 
as well disposed toward strangers, and a majority of 
them favorable to civilization and the banishment of 
the slave-trade, that of Africa. 

The population of this immense country has been 
estimated at from fifty to one hundred and fifty mil- 
lions; but as we have no certain data from which to 
compute anything like a correct estimate of its inhab- 
itants, it is difficult to arrive at a proper conclusion. 
Yet from all we can learn, I should judge one hundred 
and fifty millions is nearest to it. 

Recent travellers in Africa have discovered ruins 
which go far to show that the early settlers built towns, 
and then abandoned them for more healthy locations. 
In September, 1871, the South African explorer, Carl 
Mauch, visited the ruins of an ancient and mysterious 
city in the highland between the Zambesi and Limpopo 
Rivers, long known by native report to the Portuguese, 
and situated in a land, which from its gold and ivory, 
has long beeo identified by some authorities, as the 
Ophir of Scripture. Zimbaoe lies in about lat. 20 de- 
grees 14 seconds S.; long. 31 degrees 48 seconds E. 

One portion of the ruins rises upon a granite hill 
about four hundred feet in relative height; the other, 
separated by a slight valley, lies upon a somewhat 
raised terrace. From the curved and zigzag form still 
apparent in the ruined walls which cover the whole of 
the western declivity of the hill, these have doubtless 
formed a once impregnable fortress. The whole space 
is densely overgrown with nettles and bushes, and 
some great trees have intertwined their roots with the 

Without exception, the walls, some of which have 


still a height of thirty feet, are built of cut granite 
stones, generally of the size of an ordinary brick, but no 
mortar has been used. The thickness of the walls where 
they appear above ground is ten feet, tapering to seven 
or eight feet. In many places monolith pilasters of 
eight to ten feet in length, ornamented in diamond- 
shaped lines, stand out of the building. These are 
generally eight inches wide and three in thickness, cut 
out of a hard and close stone of greenish-black color, 
and having a metallic ring. 

During the first hurried visit, Mauch was unable 
to find any traces of inscription, though carvings 
of unknown characters are mentioned by the early 
Portuguese writers. Such however, may yet be found, 
and a clue be thus obtained as to the age of the strange 
edifice. Zimbaoe is, in all probability, an ancient fac- 
tory, raised in very remote antiquity by strangers to 
the land, to overawe the savage inhabitants of the 
neighboring country, and to serve as a depot for the 
gold and ivory which it affords. No native tribes 
dwelling in mud huts could ever have conceived its 



The various colors seen in the natives in Africa, 
where amalgamation with other races is impossible, has 
drawn forth much criticism, and puzzled the ethnolo- 
gist not a little. Yet nothing is more easily accounted 
for than this difference of color amongst the same 
people, and even uuder the same circumstances. Cli- 
mate, and climate alone, is the sole cause. 

And now to the proof. Instances are adduced, in 
which individuals, transplanted into another climate 
than that of their birth, are said to have retained their 
peculiarities of form and color unaltered, and to have 
transmitted the same to their posterity for generations. 
But cases of this kind, though often substantiated to 
a certain extent, appear to have been much exagger- 
ated, both as to the duration of time ascribed, and the 
absence of any change. It is highly probable, that the 
original characteristics will be found undergoing grad- 
ual modifications, which tend to assimilate them to 
those of the new country and situation. 

The Jews, however slightly their features may have 
assimilated to those of other nations amongst whom 



they are scattered, from the causes already stated, cer- 
tainly form a very striking example as regards the 
uncertainty of perpetuity in color. 

Descended from one stock, and prohibited by the 
most sacred institutions from intermarrying with the 
people of other nations, and yet dispersed, according 
to the divine prediction, into ever} 7 country on the 
globe, this one people is marked with the colors of 
all; fair in Briton and Germany; brown in France and 
in Turkey ; swarthy in Portugal and in Spain ; olive in 
Syria and in Chaldea ; tawny or copper-colored in Ara- 
bia and in Egypt;* whilst they are "black at Congo, 
in Africa."f 

Let us survey the gradations of color on the conti- 
nent of Africa itself. The inhabitants of the north 
are whitest ; and as we advance southward towards the 
line, and those countries in which the sun's rays fall 
more perpendicularly, the complexion gradually as- 
sumes a darker shade. And the same men, whose color 
has been rendered black by the powerful influence of 
the sun, if they remove to the north, gradually be- 
come whiter (I mean their posterity) , and eventually 
lose their dark color 4 

The Portuguese who plant'ed themselves on the coast 
of Africa a few centuries ago, have been succeeded 
by descendants blacker than many Africans." § On 
the coast of Malabar there are two colonies of Jews, 
the old colony and the new, separated by color, and 
known as the "black Jews," and the "white Jews." 

* Smith on " The Complexion of the Human Species." 

t Pritchard. 

t " Tribute for the Negro," p. 59. 

§ Pennington's Text Book, p. 96. 


The old colony are the black Jews, and have been 
longer subjected to the influence of the climate. The 
hair of the black Jews are curly, showing a resem- 
blance to the Negro. The white Jews are as dark as 
the Gipsies, and each generation growing darker. 

Dr. Livingstone says, — "I was struck with the ap- 
pearance of the people in Londa, and the neighbor- 
hood; they seemed more slender in form, and their 
color a lighter olive, than any we had hitherto met."* 

Lower down the Zambesi, the same writer says: 
"Most of the men are muscular, and have larcre, 
ploughman hands. Their color is the same admixture, 
from very dark to light olive, that we saw at Londa. "| 

In the year 1840, the writer was at Havana, and saw 
on board a vessel just arrived from Africa some five 
hundred slaves, captured in different parts of the coun- 
try. Among these captives were colors varying from 
light brown to black, and their features represented 
the finest Anglo-Saxon and the most degraded African. 

There is a nation called Tuaricks, who inhabit the 
oases and southern borders of the great desert, whose 
occupation is commerce, and whose caravans ply be- 
tween the Negro countries and Fezzan. They are 
described by the travellers Hornemann and Lyon. 

The western tribes of this nation are white, so far 
as the climate and their habits will allow. Others are 
of a yellow cast; others again, are swarthy; and in the 
neighborhood of Soudan, there is said to be a tribe 
completely black. All speak the same dialect, and it 
is a dialect of the original African tongue. There is 
no reasonable doubt of their being aboriginal. 

Lyon says they are the finest race of men he ever 

* "Livingstone's Travels," p. 296. f Ibid, p. 364. 


saw, "tall, straight, and handsome, with a certain air 
of independence and pride, which is very imposing."* 
If we observe the gradations of color in different local- 
ities in the meridian under which we live, we shall 
perceive a very close relation to the heat of the sun in 
each respectively. Under the equator we have the deep 
black of the Negro, then the copper or olive of the 
Moors of Northern Africa; then the Spaniard and 
Italian, swarthy, compared with other Europeans; 
the French, still darker than the English, while the 
fair and florid complexion of England and Germany 
passes more northerly into the bleached Scandinavian 
white . | 

It is well-knosvn, that in whatever region travellers 
ascend mountains, they find the vegetation at every 
successive level altering its character, and gradually 
assuming the appearances presented in more northern 
countries; thus indicating that the atmosphere, tem- 
perature, and physical agencies in general, assimilate, 
as we approach Alpine regions, to the peculiarities 
locally connected with high latitudes. 

If, therefore, complexion and other bodily qualities 
belonging to races of men, depend upon climate and 
external conditions, we should expect to find them 
varying in reference to elevation of surface; and if 
they should be found actually to undergo such varia- 
tions, this will be a strong argument that these external 
characteristics do, in fact, depend upon local condi- 

Now, if we inquire respecting the physical characters 
of the tribes inhabiting high tracts in warm countries, 

* Heeren, Vol. I., p. 297. f Murray's " North America." 


we shall find that they coincide with those which pre- 
vail in the level or low parts of more northern tracts. 

The Swiss, in the high mountains above the plains of 
Lombardy, have sandy or brown hair. What a con- 
trast presents itself to the traveller who descends into 
the Milanese territory, where the peasants have black 
hair and eyes, with strongly-marked Italian, and 
almost Oriental features. 

In the higher part of the Biscayan country, instead 
of the swarthy complexion and black hair of the Castil-* 
ians, the natives have a fair complexion, with light 
blue eyes, and flaxen, or auburn hair.* 

In the intertropical region, high elevations of sur- 
face, as they produce a cooler climate, occasion the 
appearance of light complexions. In the higher parts 
of Senegambia, which front the Atlantic, and are 
cooled by winds from the Western Ocean, where, in 
fact, the temperature is known to be moderate, and 
even cool at times, the light copper-colored Fulahs are 
found surrounded on every side by black Negro na- 
tions inhabiting lower districts; and nearly in the 
same parallel, but on the opposite coast of Africa, are 
the high plains of Enared and Kaffa, where the inhab- 
itants are said to be fairer than the inhabitants of 
Southern Europe. f 

Do we need any better evidence of the influence of 
climate on man, than to witness its effect on beasts 
and birds ? ^Eolian informs us that the Eubaea was 
famous for producing white oxen. J Blumenbach re- 
marks, that "all the swine of Piedmont are black, 
those of Normandy white, and those of Bavaria are 

♦Pritchard. f Ibid. J-ZEolian, lib. xii, cap. 36. 


of a reddish brown. The turkeys of Normandy/ ' 
he states, "are all black; those of Hanover almost all 
white. In Guinea, the dogs and the gallinaceous fowls 
are as black as the human inhabitants of the same 

The lack of color, in the northern regions, of many 
animals which possess color in more temperate lati- 
tudes, — as the bear, the fox, the hare, beasts of burden, 
the falcon, crow, jackdaw, arid chaffinch, — seems to 
arise entirely from climate. The common bear is dif- 
ferently colored in different regions. The dog loses 
its coat entirely in Africa, and has a smooth skin. 

We all see and admit the change which a few years 
produces in the complexion of a Caucasian going from 
our northern latitude into the tropics. 

* Pritchard. 



We now come to a consideration of the difference 
in the features of the human family, and especially the 
great variety to be seen in the African race. From 
the grim worshippers of Odin in the woods of Germany, 
down to the present day, all uncivilized nations or 
tribes have more or less been addicted to the barbar- 
ous custom of disfiguring their persons. 

Thus, among the North American Indians, the tribe 
known as the "flat heads," usually put their children's 
heads to press when but a few days old; and conse- 
quently, their name fitly represents their personal ap- 
pearance. While exploring the valley of the Zambesi, 
Dr. Livingstone met with several tribes whose mode 
of life will well illustrate this point. He says: — 

' 'The women here are in the habit of piercing the 
upper lip and gradually enlarging the orifice until 
they can insert a shell. The lip then appears drawn 
out beyond the perpendicular of the nose, and gives 
them a most ungainly aspect. Sekwebu remarked, — 
'These women want to make their mouths like those of 
ducks.' And indeed, it does appear as if they had the 



idea that female beauty of lip had been attained by the 
Ornithorhynchus paradoxus alone. This custom pre- 
vails throughout the country of the Maravi, and no 
one could see it without confessing that fashion had 
never led women to a freak more mad."* 

There is a tribe near the coast of Guinea, who con- 
sider a flat nose the paragon of beauty; and at early 
infancy, the child's nose is put in press, that it may 
not appear ugly when it arrives to years of maturity. 

Many of the tribes in the interior of Africa mark 
the face, arms, and breasts; these, in some instances, 
are considered national identifications. Knocking out 
the teeth is a common practice, as will be seen by 
reference to Dr. Livingstone's travels. Living upon 
roots, as many of the more degraded tribes do, has its 
influence in moulding the features. 

There is a decided coincidence between the physical 
characteristics of the varieties of man, and their moral 
and social condition ; and it also appears that their con- 
dition in civilized society produces marked modifi- 
cation in the intellectual qualities of the race. Re- 
ligious superstition and the worship of idols have 
done much towards changing the features of the Negro 
from the original Ethiopian of Meroe, to the present 
inhabitants of the shores of the Zambesi. 

The farther the human mind strays from the ever- 
living God as a spirit, the nearer it approximates to 
the beasts; and as the mental controls the physical, so 
ignorance and brutality are depicted upon the counte- 

As the African by his fall has lost those qualities 

* "Livingstone's Travels," p. 366. 


that adorn the visage of man, so the Anglo-Saxon, by 
his rise in the scale of humanity, has improved his 
features, enlarged his brain, and brightened in intel- 

Let us see how far history will bear us out in this 
assertion. We all acknowledge the Anglo-Saxon to 
be the highest type of civilization. But from whence 
sprang this refined, proud, haughty, and intellectual 
race? Go back a few centuries, and we find their an- 
cestors described in the graphic touches of Caesar and 
Tacitus. See them in the gloomy forests of Germany, 
sacrificing to their grim and gory idols; drinking the 
warm blood of their prisoners, quaffing libations from 
human skulls; infesting the shores of the Baltic for 
plunder and robbery; bringing home the reeking 
scalps of enemies as an offering to their king. 

Macaulay says: — "When the Britons first became 
known to the Tyrian mariners, they were little supe- 
rior to the Sandwich Islanders." 

Hume says: — "The Britons were a rude and barbar- 
ous people, divided into numerous clans, dressed in 
the skins of wild beasts: druidism was their religion, 
and they were very superstitious." Caesar writing 
home, said of the Britons, — "They are the most de- 
graded people I ever conquered." Cicero advised his 
friend Atticus not to purchase slaves fiom Briton, 
"because," said he, "they cannot be taught music, 
and are the ugliest people I ever saw." 

An illustration of the influence of circumstances 
upon the physical appearance of man may be found 
still nearer our own time. In the Irish rebellion in 
1641, and 1689, great multitudes of the native Irish 
were driven from Armagh and the South down into 


the mountainous tract extending from the Barony of 
Flews eastward to the sea; on the other side of the 
kingdom the same race were expelled into Litrin, 
Sligo, and Mayo. Here they have been almost ever 
since, exposed to the worst effects of hunger and igno- 
rance, the two great brutalizers of the human race. 

The descendants of these exiles are now distin- 
guished physically, from their kindred in Meath, and 
other districts, where they are not in a state of personal 
debasement. These people are remarkable for open, 
projecting mouths, prominent teeth, and exposed 
gums; their advancing cheek-bones and depressed 
noses carry barbarism on their very front. 

In Sligo and northern Mayo, the consequences of two 
centuries of degradation and hardship exhibit them- 
selves in the whole physical condition of the people, 
affecting not only the features, but the frame, and giv- 
ing such an example of human degradation as to make 
it revolting. 

They are only five feet two inches, upon an average, 
bow-legged, bandy-shanked, abortively-featured; the 
apparitions of Irish ugliness and Irish want.* 

Slavery is, after all, the great demoralizer of the hu- 
man race. In addition to the marks of barbarism left 
upon the features of the African, he has the indelible 
imprint of the task-master. Want of food, clothing, 
medical attention when sick, over-work, under the con- 
trol of drunken and heartless drivers, the hand-cuffs 
and Negro whip, together with the other paraphernalia 
of the slave-code, has done much to distinguish the 
blacks from the rest of the human family. It must 

* "Dublin University Magazine/' Vol. IV., p. 653. 


also be remembered that in Africa, the people, 
whether living in houses or in the open air, are op- 
pressed with a hot climate, which causes them to sleep, 
more or less, with their mouths open. This fact alone 
is enough to account for the large, wide mouth and 
flat nose; common sense* teaching us that with the 
open mouth, the features must fall. 

As to the hair, which has also puzzled some scien- 
tific men, it is easily accounted for. It is well-known 
that heat is the great crisper of the hair, whether it be 
on men's heads or on the backs of animals. I remem- 
ber well, when a boy, to have witnessed with con- 
siderable interest the preparations made on great 
occasions by the women, with regard to their hair. 

The curls which had been carefully laid away for 
months, were taken out of the drawer, combed, oiled, 
rolled over the prepared paper, and put in the gently- 
heated stove, there to remain until the wonted curl 
should be gained. When removed from the stove, 
taken off the paper rolls, and shaken out, the hair 
was fit to adorn the head of any lady in the land. 

Now, the African's hair has been under the influence 
for many centuries, of the intense heat of his native 
clime, and in each generation is still more curly, till 
we find as many grades of hair as we do of color, 
from the straight silken strands of the Malay, to the 
wool of the Guinea Negro. Custom, air, food, and 
the general habits of the people, spread over the great 
area of the African continent, aid much in producing 
the varieties of hair so often met with in the descend- 
ants of the country of the Nile. 

In the recent reports of Dr. Livingstone, he de- 
scribes the physical appearance of a tribe which he met, 


and which goes to substantiate what has already been 
said with regard to the descent of the Africans from 
the region of the Nile. He says: — 

"I happened to be present when all the head men 
of the great chief Msama who lives west of the south 
end of Tanganayika, had come together to make peace 
with certain Arabs who had burned their chief town, 
and I am certain one could not see more finely-formed, 
intellectual heads in any assembly in London or Paris, 
and the faces and forms corresponded with the finely- 
shaped heads. Msama himself had been a sort of Napo- 
leon for fighting and conquering in his younger days. 

"Many of the women are very pretty, and, like all 
ladies, would be much prettier if they would only let 
themselves alone. Fortunately, the dears cannot 
change their darling black eyes, beautiful foreheads, 
nicely-rounded limbs, well-shaped forms, and small 
hands and feet; but they must adorn themselves, and 
this they will do by filing their splendid teeth to 
points like cats' teeth. These specimens of the fair 
sex make shift by adorning their fine, warm brown 
skins, and tattooing various pretty devices without 
colors. They are not black, but of a light warm 
brown color. 

"The Cazembe's queen would be esteemed a real 
beauty, either in London, Paris, or New York; and yet 
she had a small hole through the cartilage, near the 
tip of her fine aquiline nose. But she had only filed 
one side of two of the front swan-white teeth, and 
then what a laugh she had! Large sections of the 
country northwest of Cazembe, but still in the same 
inland region, are peopled with men very much like 
those of Msama and Cazembe.' ' 



While paganism is embraced by the larger portion 
of the African races, it is by no means the religion 
of the land. Missionaries representing nearly every 
phase of religious belief have made their appearance in 
the country, and gained more or less converts. Moham- 
medanism, however, has taken by far the greatest hold 
upon the people. 

Whatever may be said of the followers of Moham- 
med in other countries, it may truly be averred that 
the African has been greatly benefited by this relig- 

Recent discussions and investigations have brought 
the subject of Mohammedanism prominently before the 
reading public, and the writings of Weil, and Nol- 
deke, and Muir, and Sprenger, and Emanuel Deutsch, 
have taught the world that ''Mohammedanism is a thing 
of vitality, fraught with a thousand fruitful germs;" 
and have amply illustrated the principle enunciated 
by St. Augustine, showing that there are elements both 
of truth and goodness in a system which has had so 
wide-spread an influence upon mankind, embracing 



within the scope of its operations more than one hun- 
dred millions of the human race ; that the exhibition of 
the germs of truth, even though "suspended in a gallery 
of counterfeits," has vast power over the human heart. 

Whatever may be the intellectual inferiority of the 
Negro tribes (if, indeed, such inferiority exist), it is 
certain that many of these tribes have received the 
religion of Islam without its being forced upon them 
by the overpowering arms of victorious invaders. 
The quiet development and organization of a religious 
community in the heart of Africa has shown that 
Negroes, equally with other races, are susceptible bf 
moral and spiritual impressions, and of all the sublime 
possibilities of religion. 

The history of the progress of Islam in the country 
would present the same instances of real and eager 
mental conflict of minds in honest transition, of 
careful comparison and reflection, that have been 
found in other communities where new aspects of 
truth and fresh considerations have been brought be- 
fore them. And we hold that it shows a stronger and 
more healthy intellectual tendency to be induced by 
the persuasion and reason of a man of moral nobleness 
and deep personal convictions to join with him in the in- 
troduction of beneficial changes , than to be compelled 
to follow the lead of an irresponsible character, who 
forces us into measures by his superior physical 

Mungo Park, in his travels seventy years ago, 
everywhere remarked the contrast between the pagan 
and Mohammedan tribes of interior Africa. One very 
important improvement noticed by him was abstinence 
from intoxicating drinks. 


"The beverage of the pagan Negroes," he says, "is 
beer and mead, of which they often drink to excess; 
the Mohammedan converts drink nothing but water." 

Thus, throughout Central Africa there has been es- 
tablished a vast total abstinence society; and such is 
the influence of this society that where there are Mos- 
lem inhabitants, even in pagan towns, it is a very rare 
thing to see a person intoxicated. They thus present 
an almost impenetrable barrier to the desolating flood 
of ardent spirits with which the traders from Europe 
and America inundate the coast at Caboon. 

, Wherever the Moslem is found on the coast, 
whether Jalof, Fulah, or Mandingo, he looks upon 
himself as a separate and distinct being from his 
pagan neighbor, and immeasurably his superior in in- 
tellectual and moral respects. He regards himself as 
one to whom a revelation has been "sent down" from 
Heaven. He holds constant intercourse with the 
"Lord of worlds," whose servant he- is. In his behalf 
Omnipotence will ever interpose in times of danger. 
Hence he feels that he cannot indulge in the frivolities 
and vices which he considers as by no means incom- 
patible with the character and professions of the Kafir, 
or unbeliever. 

There are no caste distinctions among them. They 
do not look upon the privileges of Islam as confined 
by tribal barriers or limitations. On the contrary, the 
life of their religion is aggressiveness. They are con- 
stantly making proselytes. As early as the com- 
mencement of the present century, the elastic and ex 
pansive character of their system was sufficiently 
marked to attract the notice of Mr. Park. 

"In the Negro country," observes that celebrated 


traveller, "the Mohammedan religion has made, and 
continues to make, considerable progress." "The 
yearning of the native African," says Professor Crum- 
mell, "for a higher religion, is illustrated by the sin- 
gular fact that Mohammedanism is rapidly and peace- 
ably spreading all through the tribes of Western 
Africa, even to the Christian settlements of Liberia." 

From Senegal to Lagos, over two thousand miles, 
there is scarcely an important town on the seaboard 
where there is not at least one mosque, and active 
representatives of Islam often side by side with the 
Christian teachers. And as soon as a pagan, however 
obscure or degraded, embraces the Moslem faith, he 
is at once admitted as an equal to their society. Slav- 
ery and slave-trade are laudable institutions, provid- 
ed the slaves are Kafirs. The slave who embraces 
Islamism is free, and no office is closed against him 
on account of servile blood.* 

Passing over into the southern part, we find the 
people in a state of civilization, and yet supersti- 
tious, as indeed are the natives everywhere. 

The town of Noble is a settlement of modern times, 
sheltering forty thousand souls, close to an ancient 
city of the same name, the Borne of aboriginal South 
Africa. The religious ceremonies performed there 
are of the most puerile character, and would be 
thought by most equally idolatrous with those for- 
merly held in the same spot by the descendants of 
Mumbo Jumbo. 

On Easter Monday is celebrated the Festa del 

*Prof. Blyden, in "Methodist Quarterly Review," June, 


Sefior de los Temblor es, or Festival of the Lord of 
Earthquakes. On this clay the public plaza in front 
of the cathedral is hung with garlands and festoons, 
and the belfry utters its loudest notes. The images 
of the saints are borne out from their shrines, covered 
with fresh and gaudy decorations. The Madonna of 
Bethlehem, San Cristoval, San Bias, and San Jose, 
are borne on in elevated state, receiving as they go 
the prayers of all the* Maries, and Christophers, and 
Josephs, who respectively regard them as patrons. 
But the crowning honors are reserved for the miracu- 
lous Crucifix, called the Lord of Earthquakes, which 
is supposed to protect the city from the dreaded ter- 
restrial shocks, the Temblores. 

The procession winds around a prescribed route, 
giving opportunity for public prayers and the devotions 
of the multitude; the miraculous image, in a new 
spangled skirt, that gives it the most incongruous re- 
semblance to an opera-dancer, is finally shut up in the 
church; and then the glad throng, feeling secure 
from earthquakes another year, dance and sing in the 
plaza all night long. 

The Borers, a hardy, fighting, and superstitious race, 
have a showy time at weddings and funerals. When 
the appointed day for marriage has arrived, the friends 
of the contracting parties assemble and form a circle; 
into this ring the bridegroom leads his lady-love. 

The woman is divested of her clothing, and stands 
somewhat as mother Eve did in the garden before she 
thought of the fig-leaf. The man then takes oil from 
a shell, and anoints the bride from the crown of her 
head to the soles of her feet; at the close of this cere- 
mony, the bridegroom breaks forth into joyful peals of 


laughter, in which all the company join, the musicians 
strike up a lively air, and the dance commences. At 
the close of this, the oldest woman in the party comes 
forward, and taking the bride by the right hand, gives 
her to her future husband. 

Two maids standing ready with clothes, jump to the 
bride, and begin rubbing her off. After this, she is 
again dressed, and the feast commences, consisting 
mainly of fruits and wines. 

The funeral services of the same people are not less 
interesting. At the death of one of their number, the 
body is stripped, laid out upon the ground, and the 
friends of the deceased assemble, forming a circle 
around it, and commence howling like so many de- 
mons. They then march and counter-march around, 
with a subdued chant. After this, they hop around 
first on one foot, then on the other; stopping still, they 
cry at the top of their voices — ' 'She's in Heaven, she's 
in Heaven! " Here they all fall flat upon the ground, 
and roll about for a few minutes, after which they si- 
multaneously rise, throw up their hands, and run away 
yelling and laughing. 

Among the Bechuanas, when a chief dies, his burial 
takes place in his cattle-yard, and all the cattle are 
driven for an hour over the grave, so that it may be 
entirely obliterated.* In all the Backwain's pretended 
dreams and visions of their God, he has always a 
crooked leg like the Egyptian. f 

Musical and dancing festivities form a great part of 
the people's time. With some of the tribes, instru- 
mental music has been carried to a high point of cult- 

* Dr. Livingstone. t Thau. 


ure. Bruce gives an account of a concert, the music 
of which he heard at the distance of a mile or more, 
on a still night in October. He says: "It was the most 
enchanting strain I ever listened to." 

It is not my purpose to attempt a detailed account 
of the ceremonies of the various tribes that inhabit the 
continent of Africa; indeed, such a thing would be 
impossible, even if I were inclined to do so. 



According to Bruce, who travelled extensively in 
Africa, the Abyssinians have among them a tradition, 
handed down from time immemorial, that Cush was 
their father. Theodore, late king of Abyssinia, main- 
tained that he descended in a direct line from Moses. 
As this monarch has given wider fame to his country 
than any of his predecessors, it will not be amiss to 
give a short sketch of him and his government. 

Theodore was born at Qaarel, on the borders of the 
western Amhara, and was educated in a convent in 
which he was placed by his mother, his father being 
dead. He early delighted in military training, and 
while yet a boy, became proficient as a swordsman 
and horseman. 

Like Robert Clive, Warren Hastings, and many 
other great warriors, Theodore became uneasy under 
the restraint of the school-room, and escaped from the 
convent to his uncle, Dejatch Comfu, a noted rebel, 
from whom he imbibed a taste for warlike pursuits, 
and eventually became ruler of a large portion of Abys- 
sinia. Naturally ambitious and politic, he succeeded 


in enlarging his authorit}' steadily at the expense of 
the other "Eas," or chiefs, of Abyssinia. His power 
especially increased when, in 1853, he defeated his 
father-in-law, Eas AH, and took him prisoner. At 
length in 1855, he felt himself strong enough to for- 
mally claim the throne of all Al^ssinia, and he was 
crowned as such by the Abuna Salama, the head of the 
Abyssinian church. 

His reign soon proved to be the most effective 
Abyssinia had ever had. As soon as he came into 
power, his attention was directed to the importance of 
being on terms of friendship with the government 
which rules India, and which has established itself in 
the neighboring stronghold of Aden. He therefore 
resolved to assert the rights assured to him by virtue 
of the treaty made between Great Britain and Abys- 
sinia in the year 1849, and ratified in 1852, in which 
it was stipulated that each State should receive em- 
bassadors from the other. Mr. Plowden, who had been 
for many years English consul at Massawah, although 
not an accredited agent to Abyssinia, went to that 
country with presents for the people in authority, and 
remained during the war which broke out at the suc- 
cession of Theodore. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Plowden, who had succeeded in 
winning the favor of the emperor, to a large extent, 
was killed; and his successor, Mr. Cameron, was in- 
formed, soon after his arrival in 1862, by the King, 
that he desired to carry out the above-mentioned 
treaty; he even wrote an autograph letter to Queen 
Victoria, asking permission to send an embassy to 
London. Although the letter reached England in 
February, 1863, it remained unanswered; and the* 


supposition is, that this circumstance, together with a 
quarrel with Mr. Stern, a missionary, who in a book 
on Abyssinia, had spoken disrespectfully of the King, 
and who had remonstrated against the flogging to 
death of two interpreters, roused the King's temper, 
and a year after having dispatched the unanswered 
letter, he sent an armed force to the missionary station, 
seized the missionaries, and put them in chains. He 
also cast Mr. Cameron into prison, and had him chained 
continually to an Abyssinian soldier. 

Great excitement prevailed in England on the arrival 
of the news of this outrage against British subjects: 
but in consideration of an armed expedition having to 
undergo many hardships in such a warm climate, it 
was deemed best by the English government to use 
diplomacy in its efforts to have the prisoners released. 
It was not until the second half of August, 1865, that 
Mr. Rassam, an Asiatic, by birth, was sent on a special 
mission to the Abyssinian potentate, and was received 
on his arrival in February, 1866, in a truly magnificent 
style, the release of the prisoners being .at once or- 
dered by the King. But the hope thus raised was soon 
to be disappointed, for when Mr. Rassam and the other 
prisoners were just on the point of taking leave of 
the Emperor, they were put under arrest, and notified 
that they would have to remain in the country as State 
guests until an answer could be obtained to another 
letter which the King was going to write to the Queen. 

After exhausting all diplomatic resources to obtain 
from Theodore the release of the captives, the Eng- 
lish government declared war against Theodore. 
The war was chiefly to be carried on with the troops, 
European and native, which in India had become 


accustomed to the hot climate. The first English 
troops made their appearance in October, 18G7, but 
it was not until the close of the year that the whole 
of the army arrived. The expedition was commanded 
by General Sir Robert Napier, heretofore command- 
ing-general at Bombay. Under him acted as com- 
manders of divisions, Sir Charles Stcevely, and Colonel 
Malcolm, while Colonel Merewother commanded the 
cavalry. The distance from Massowah, the landing- 
place of the troops, to Magdala, the capital of Theo- 
dore, is about three hundred miles. The English had 
to overcome great difficulties, but they overcame them 
with remarkable energy. King Theodore gradually re- 
tired before the English without risking a battle until he 
reached his capital. Then he made a stand, and fought 
bravely for his crown, but in vain; he was defeated, 
the capital captured, and the King himself slain. 

King Theodore was, on the whole, the greatest 
ruler Abyssinia has ever had: even, according to 
English accounts, he excelled in all manly pursuits, 
and his general manner was polite and engaging. 
Had he avoided this foolish quarrel with England, and 
proceeded on the way of reform which he entered 
upon in the beginning of his reign, he would proba- 
bly have played an important part in the political 
regeneration of Eastern Africa. 

As a people, the Abyssinians are intelligent, are of 
a ginger-bread, or coffee color, although a large por- 
tion of them are black. Theodore was himself of this 
latter class. They have fine schools and colleges, 
and a large and flourishing military academy. Agri- 
culture, that great civilizer of man, is carried on here 
to an extent unknown in other parts of the country. 



The Colony of Sierra Leone, of which Free Town is 
the capital, is situated in 8 degrees 30 minutes north 
latitude, and is about 13J degrees west longitude; 
was settled by the English, and was for a long time 
the most important place on the western coast of 
Africa. The three leading tribes on the coast of 
Sierra Leone are the Timanis, the Susus, and the Veys. 
The first of these surround the British Colony of Sier- 
ra Leone on all sides. The Susus have their princi- 
pal settlements near the head-waters of the Eio Pon- 
gas, and are at some distance from the sea coast. 
The Veys occupy all the country about the Gallinas 
and Cape Mount, and extend back into the country to 
the distance of fifty or a hundred miles. 

The Timanis cultivate the soil to some extent, have 
small herds of domestic animals, and are engaged to a 
greater or less extent in barter with the English colo- 
nists of Sierra Leone. They may be seen in large num- 
bers about the streets of Free Town, wearing a large 
square cotton cloth thrown around their persons. They 
are strong and healthy in appearance, but have a much 



less intellectual cast of countenance than the Mandin- 
goes or Fulahs, who may also be seen in the same 
place. Like all the other tribes in Africa, especially the 
pagans, they are much addicted to fetichism, — worship 
of evil spirits, — administering the red-wood ordeal, 
and other ceremonies. They are depraved, licentious, 
indolent, and avaricious. But this is no more than 
what may be said of every heathen tribe on the globe. 

The Veys, though not a numerous or powerful tribe, 
are very intellectual, and have recently invented an 
alphabet for writing their own language, which has 
been printed, and now they enjoy the blessings of a 
written system, for which they are entirely indebted to 
their own ingenuity and enterprise. This is undoubt- 
edly one of the most remarkable achievements of this 
or any other age, and is itself enough to silence for- 
ever the cavils and sneers of those who think so con- 
temptuously of the intellectual endowments of the Afri- 
can race. The characters used in this system are all 
new, and were invented by the people themselves 
without the aid of outsiders. The Veys occupy all 
the country along the sea-board from Gallinas to Cape 

In stature, they are about the ordinary height, of 
slender 5 but graceful figures, with very dark complex- 
ions, but large and well-formed heads. 

As the Yeys are within the jurisdiction of Liberia, 
that government will be of great service to them. The 
Biassagoes, the Bulloms, the Dego, and the Gola, are 
also inhabitants of the Sierra Leone coast. Other 
tribes of lesser note are scattered all along the coast, 
many of which have come under the good influence of 
the Liberian government. Cape Coast Castle , the strong- 


hold of the English on the African coast, has, in past 
years, been a place of great importance. It was from 
this place that its governor, Sir Charles McCarthy, 
went forth to the contest with the Ashantees, a warlike 
tribe, and was defeated, losing his life, together with 
that of seven others. 

Here, at this castle, "L. E. L.," the gifted poetess 
and novelist of England, died, and was buried within 
the walls. This lamented lady married Captain McLean, 
the governor-general of the castle, and her death 
caused no little comment at the time, many blaming 
the husband for the wife's death. 

The Kru people are also on the coast, and have less 
general intelligence than the Fulahs, Mandingoes, and 
Degos. They are physically a fine-appearing race, with 
more real energy of character than either of the others. 
It would be difficult to find better specimens of mus- 
cular development, men of more manly and independ- 
ent carriage, or more real grace of manner, anywhere 
in the world. No one ever comes in contact with 
them, for the first time, without being struck with 
their open, frank countenances, their robust and well- 
proportioned forms, and their independent bearing, 
even when they have but the scantiest covering for 
their bodies. 

Their complexion varies from the darkest shade of 
the Negro to that of the true mulatto. Their features 
are comparatively regular; and, though partaking of 
all the characteristics of the Negro, they are by no 
means strongly marked in their general outline or de- 
velopment. The most marked deficiency is in the 
formation of their heads, which are narrow and peaked, 
and do not indicate a very high order of intellectual 


endowment. Experience, however, has shown that 
they are as capable of intellectual improvement as any 
other race of men.* 

In the interior of Youeba, some distance back from 
Cape Coast, lies the large city of Ibaddan, a place 
with a population of about two hundred thousand 
souls. Abeokuta has a population of more than one 
hundred thousand, and is about seventy -five miles 
from the sea coast, with a history that is not without 
interest. Some fifty years ago, a few persons of dif- 
ferent tribes, who had been constantly threatened and 
annoyed by the slave-traders of the coast, fled to the 
back country, hid away in a large cave, coming out 
occasionally to seek food, and taking in others who 
sought protection from these inhuman men-hunters. 

This cavern is situated on the banks of the Ogun, 
and in the course of time became the hiding-place of 
great numbers from the surrounding country. At 
first, they subsisted on berries, roots, and such other 
articles of food as they could collect near their place 
of retreat; but growing in strength by the increase of 
population, they began to bid defiance to their ene- 

A slave-hunting party from Dahomey, having with 
them a considerable number of captives, passing the 
cavern, thought it a good opportunity to add to their 
wealth, and consequently, made an attack upon the set- 
tlers. The latter came forth in large force from their 
hiding-place, gave battle to the traders, defeated them, 
capturing their prisoners and putting their enemies to 
flight. The captives were at once liberated, and joined 
their deliverers. In the course of time this settlement 

* Wilson's "Western Africa." 


took the name of Abeokuta. These people early 
turned their attention to agriculture and manufactur- 
ing, and by steady increase in population, it soon 
became a city of great wealth and importance. About 
thirty years ago, a number of recaptives from Sierra 
Leone, who had formerly been taken from this region 
of eountiy, and who had been recaptured by the Eng- 
lish, liberated and educated, visited Lagos for trade. 
Here they met many of their old friends and relations 
from Abeokuta, learned of the flourishing town that 

had grown up, and with larger numbers returned to 
swell the population of the new city. 

The King of Dahomey watched the growing power of 
Abeokuta with an evil eye, and in 1853, he set in mo- 
tion a large army, with the view of destroying this 
growing city, and reducing its inhabitants to slavery. 
The King made a desperate attack and assault upon 
the place, but he met with a resistance that he little 
thought of. The engagement was carried on outside of 
the walls for several hours, when the Dahomian army 
was compelled to give way, and the King himself 
was saved only by the heroism and frantic manner in 
which he was defended by his Amazons. This success 
of the people of Abeokuta gave the place a reputa- 
tion above what it had hitherto enjoyed, and no in- 
vading army has since appeared before its walls. 

Much of the enterprise and improvement of these 
people is owing to the good management of Shodeke, 
their leader. Coming from all sections near the 
coast, and the line of the slave-traders, representing 
the remnants of one hundred and thirty towns, these 
people, in the beginning, were anything but united. 
Shodeke brought them together and made them feel as 


one family. This remarkable man had once been cap- 
tured by the slave-traders, but had escaped, and was the 
first to suggest the cave as a place of safety. Through- 
out Sierra Leone, Abeokuta, and the Yoruba country 
generally the best-known man in connection with the 
African civilization, is Mr. Samuel Crowther, a native, 
and who, in the Yoruba language, was called Adgai. 
He was embarked as a slave on board a slaver at 
Badagry, in 1822. The vessel was captured by a 
British man-of-war and taken to Sierra Leone. Here 
he received a good education, was converted, and be- 
came a minister of the Gospel, after which he returned 
to his native place. 

Mr. Crowther is a man of superior ability, and his 
attainments in learning furnish a happy illustration of 
the capacity of the Negro for improvements. Daliomey 
is one of the largest and most powerful of all the gov- 
ernments on the west coast. The King is the most 
absolute tyrant in the world, owning all the land, the 
people, and everything that pertains to his domain. 
The inhabitants are his slaves, and they must come and 
go at his command. The atrocious cruelties that are con- 
stantly perpetrated at the command and bidding of this 
monarch, has gained for him the hatred of the civilized 
world; and strange to say, these deeds of horror ap- 
pear to be sanctioned by the people, who have a super- 
stitious veneration for their sovereign, that is without 
a parallel. Abomi, the capital of Dahomey, has a large 
population, a fort, and considerable trade. The King 
exacts from all the sea-port towns on this part of the 
coast, and especially from Popo, Porto. Novo, and 
Badagry, where the foreign slave-trade, until within 


a very short period, was carried on as in no other part 
of Africa. 

The Dahomian soldiery, for the past two hundred 
years, have done little less than hunt slaves for the 
supply of the traders. 

The English blockading squadron has done great 
service in breaking up the slave-trade on this part of 
the coast, and this has turned the attention of the peo- 
ple to agriculture. The country has splendid natural 
resources, which if properly developed, will make it one 
of the finest portions of Western Africa. The soil is 
rich, the seasons are regular, and the climate favorable 
for agricultural improvements. Indian corn, yams, 
potatoes, manico, beans, ground-nuts, plantains, and 
bananas are the chief products of the country. Cotton 
is raised to a limited extent. 

The practice of sacrificing the lives of human beings 
upon the graves of dead kings evey year in Dahomey, 
and then paving the palace grounds with the skulls of 
the victims, has done much to decrease the population 
of this kingdom. As many as two thousand persons 
have been slaughtered on a single occasion. To obtain 
the required number, wars have been waged upon the 
surrounding nations for months previous to the sacri- 
fice. There is no place where there is more intense 
heathenism; and to mention no other feature in their 
superstitious practice, the worship of snakes by the 
Dahomians fully illustrates this remark. 

A building in the centre of the town is devoted to 
the exclusive use of reptiles, and they may be seen 
here at any time in great numbers. They are fed, and 
more care taken of them than of the human inhabitants 
of the place. If they are found straying away they 


must be brought back: and at the sight of them the 
people prostrate themselves on the ground, and do 
them all possible reverence. To kill or injure one of 
them is to endure the penalty of death. On certain 
days they are taken out by the priests or doctors, and 
paraded about the streets, the bearers allowing them 
to coil themselves around their arms, necks, and bodies, 
and evcu to put their heads into the carriers' bosoms. 

They are also employed to detect persons who* are 
suspected of theft, witchcraft, and murder. If in 
the hands of the priest i\\cy bite the suspected person, 
it is sure evidence of bis guilt ; and no doubt the ser- 
pent is trained to do the will of his keeper in all cases. 
Images called greegrees, of the most uncouth shape and 
form, may be seen in all parts of the town, and are 
worshipped by everybody. 

In every part of Africa, polygamy is a favorite in- 
stitution. In their estimation it lies at the very foun- 
dation of all social order, and society would scarcely be 
worth preserving without it. The highest aspiration 
that the most eminent African ever rises to, is to have 
a large number of wives. His happiness, his reputa- 
tion, his influence, his position in society, and his 
future welfare, all depend upon it. In this feeling 
the women heartily concur; for a woman would much 
rather be the wife of a man who had fifty others, than 
to be the sole representative of a man who had not 
force of character to raise himself above the one- 
woman level. 

The consequence is, that the so-called wives are little 
better than slaves. They have no purpose in life other 
than to administer to the wants and gratify the passions 


i i their lords, who are masters and owners, rather than 

In nearly every nation or tribe, the wife is purchased ; 
and as this is done io the great majority of cases when 
she is but a child, her wishes, as a matter of course, are 
never consulted in this most important affair of her 
whole life. ( 

As both father and mother hold a claim on the daugh- 
ter, and as each makes a separate bargain with the future 
son-in-law, the parent generally makes a good thing out 
of the sale. The price of a wife ranges all the way from 
the price of a cow to three cows, a goat or a sheep, 
and some articles of crockery-ware, beads, and a few 
other trinkets. Where the girl is bought in infancy, 
it remains with the parents till of a proper age. There 
are no widows, the woman being sold for life, and 
becomes the wife of the husband's brother, should the 
former die. A man of respectability is always ex- 
pected to provide a separate house for each of his 
wives. Each woman is mistress of her own household, 
provides for herself and her children, and entertains 
her husband as often as he favors her with his com- 

The wife is never placed on a footing of social 
equality with her husband. Her position is a menial 
one, and she seldom aspires to anything higher than 
merely to gratify the passions of her husband. She 
never takes a seat at the social board with him. 

Men of common standing are never allowed to have as 
many wives as a sovereign. Both the Kings of Daho- 
mey and Ashantee are permitted by law to have three 
thousand three hundred and thirty-three. No one 
is allowed to see the King's wives except the King's 


female relatives, or sueh messengers as he may send, 
and even these must communicate with them through 
their bamboo walls. Sometimes they go forth in a 
body through the streets, but are always preceded 
by a company of boys, who wain the people to run out 
of the way, and avoid the unpardonable offence of see- 
ing the King's wives. The men especially, no matter 
what their rank, must get out of the way; and if they 
have not had sufficient time to do this, tbey must fall 
flat on the ground and hide their faces until the proces- 
sion has passed. To see one of the King's wives, 
even accidentally, is a capital offence ; and the scene of 
the confusion which occasionally takes place in the 
public market in consequence of the unexpected ap- 
proach of the royal cortege, is said to be ludicrous 
beyond all description. 

At the death of the King, it is not uncommon for his 
wives to fall upon each other with knives, and lacerate 
themselves in the most cruel and barbarous manner ; 
and this work of butchery is continued until they are 
forcibly restrained. Women are amongst the most 
reliable and brave in the King's army, and constitute 
about one-third of the standing army in Ashantee and 

One of the most influential and important classes in 
every African community is the deybo, a set of pro- 
fessional men who combine the medical and priestly 
office in the same person. They attend the sick and 
administer medicines, which usually consist of decoc- 
tions of herbs or roots, and external applications. A 
doctor is expected to give his undivided attention to 
one patient at a time, and is paid only in case of suc- 
cessful treatment. If the case is a serious one, he is 


expected to deposit with the family, as a security for 
his good behavior and faithful discharge of duty, a 
bundle of hair that was shorn from his head at the 
time he was inaugurated into office, and without 
which he could have no skill in his profession 

The doctor professes to hold intercourse with, and 
have great influence over demons. He also claims to 
have communications from God. No man can be 
received into the conclave without spending two years 
or more as a student with some eminent member of 
the fraternity. During this period he must accompany 
his preceptor in all his journey ings, perform a variety 
of menial services, is prohibited from shaving his 
head, washing his body, or allowing water to be 
applied to him in any way whatever, unless perchance 
he falls into a stream, or is overtaken by a shower of 
rain, when he is permitted to get off as much dirt as 
possible from his body. The doctor's badge of office 
is a monkey's skin, which he carries in the form of a 
roll wherever he goes, and of which he is as proud as 
his white brother of his sheep-skin diploma. 

In their capacity as priests, these men profess to 
be able to raise the dead, cast out devils, and do all 
manner of things that other people are incapable of 
doing. The doctor is much feared by the common 
classes. No innovation in practice is allowed by these 
men. A rather amusing incident occurred recently, 
which well illustrates the jealousy, bigotry, and ignor- 
ance of these professionals. 

Mr. Samuel Crowther, Jr., having returned from 
England, where he had studied for a physician, began 
the practice of his profession amongst his native 


people. The old doctors hearing that Crowther was 
prescribing, called on him in a large clelegatioD. Mr. 
Crowther received the committee cordially; heard 
what they had to say, and expressed his willingness to 
obey, provided they would give him a trial, and should 
find him deficient. To this they agreed; and a time 
was appointed for the test to take place. On the day 
fixed, the regulars appeared, clothed in their most 
costly robes, well provided with charms, each holding 
in his hand his monkey's skin, with the head most 

Mr. Crowther was prepared to receive them. A 
\able was placed in the middle of the room, and on it 
a dish, in which were a few drops of sulphuric acid, so 
placed that a slight motion of the table would cause it 
to flow into a mixture of chlorate of potassa and white 
mgar. An English clock was also in the room, from 
vhich a cock issued every hour and crowed. It was 
irranged that the explosion from the dish, and the 
growing of the rooster, should take place at the same 
• aioment. 

The whole thing was to be decided in favor of the 
party who should perform the greatest wonder. After 
all were seated, Mr. Crowther made a harangue, 
and requested them to say who should lead off in the 

This privilege they accorded to him. The doors 
were closed, the curtains drawn, and all waited in 
breathless silence. Both the hands on the clock were 
fast approaching the figure twelve. Presently the cock 
came out and began crowing, to the utter astonishment 
of the learned visitors. Crowther gave the table a jos- 
tle ; and suddenly, from the midst of the dish burst forth 


flame and a terrible explosion. This double wonder 
was too much for these sages. The scene that followed 
is indescribable. One fellow rushed throusrh the 
window and scampered; one fainted and fell upon the 
floor; another, in his consternation, overturned chairs, 
tables, and everything in his way, took refuge in the 
bedroom, under the bed, from which he was with 
difficulty afterwards removed. 

It need not be added that they gave no more 
trouble, and the practice they sought to break up was 
the more increased for their pains.* 

In Southern Guinea, and especially in the Gabun 
country, the natives are unsurpassed for their cunning 
and shrewdness in trade; and even in everything in 
the way of dealing with strangers. The following 
anecdote will illustrate how easily they can turn mat- 
ters to their own account. 

There is a notable character in the Gabun, of the 
name of Cringy. No foreigner ever visits the river 
without making his acquaintance; and all who do so, 
remember him forever after. He speaks English, 
French, Portuguese, and at least half a dozen native 
languages, with wonderful ease. He is, in person, a 
little, old, grey-headed, hump-backed man, with a 
remarkably bright, and by no means unpleasaut eye. 
His village is perched on a high bluff on the north 
side of the Gabun River, near its outlet. He gener- 
ally catches the first sight of vessels coming in, and 
puts off in his boat to meet the ship. If the captain 
has never been on the coast before, Cringy will make a 
good thing out of him, unless he has been warned by 
other sailors. The cunning African is a pilot; and 

* "A Pilgrimage to my Motherland." Campbell. 


after he brings a vessel in unci moors her opposite 
his town by a well-known usage, it is now Cringy 's. 
He aets as interpreter; advises the captain; helps to 
make bargains, and puts on airs as if the ship be- 
longed to him. If anybody else infringes on his 
rights in the slightest decree, he is at once stigmatized 
as a rude and ill-mannered person. Cringy is sure to 
cheat everyone he deals with, and has been seized half 
a dozen times or more by men-of-war, or other vessels, 
and put in irons. But he is so adroit with his tongue, 
and so good-natured and humorous, that he always 
gets clear. 

The following trick performed by him, will illustrate 
the character of the man. 

Some years ago, the French had a fight with the 
natives. After reducing the people near the mouth 
of the river to obedience by the force of arms, Com- 
modore B — proposed to visit King. George's towns, 
about thirty miles higher up the river, with the hope 
of getting them to acknowledge the French authority 
without further resort to violence. In order to make a 
favorable impression, he determined to take his squad- 
ron with him. His fleet consisted of two large sloops- 
of-war and a small vessel. As none of the French 
could speak the native language, and none of King 
George's people could speak French, it was a matter 
of great importance that a good interpreter should be 
employed. It was determined that Cringy was the 
most suitable man. He was sent for, accepted the offer 
at once— for Cringy himself had something of impor- 
tance at stake — and resolved to profit by this visit. 

One of Cringy 's wives was the daughter of King 
George; and this woman, on account of ill-treatment, 


had fled and gone back into her father's country. All 
his previous efforts to get his wife had failed. And 
now when the proposition came from the commodore, 
the thought occurred to Cringy that he could make 
himself appear to be a man of great influence and 
power. The party set out with a favoring wind and 
tide, and were soon anchored at their place of destina- 
tion. With a corps of armed marines, the commodore 
landed and proceeded to the King's palace. 

The people had had no intimation of such a visit, 
and the sudden arrival of this armed body produced 
a very strong sensation, and all eyes were on Cringy, 
next to the commodore, for he was the only one that 
could explain the object of the expedition. King 
George and his council met the commodore, and 
Cringy was instructed to say that the latter had come 
to have a friendly talk with the King, with the view of 
establishing amicable relations between him and the 
King of France, and would be glad to have his sig- 
nature to a paper to that effect. Now was Cringy 's 
moment; and he acted his part well. 

The wily African, with the air of one charged with 
a very weighty responsibility, said: "King George, 
the commodore is very sorry that you have not re- 
turned my wife. He wishes you to do it now in a 
prompt and quiet manner, and save him the trouble 
and pain of bringing his big guns to bear upon your 

King George felt the deepest indignation; not 
so much against the commodore, as Cringy, for resort- 
ing to so extraordinary a measure to compel him 
to give up his daughter. But he concealed the emo- 
tions of his heart, and, without the slightest change 


of countenance, but with a firm and determined tone 
of voice, he said to his own people, "Go out quietly 
and get your guns loaded; and if one drop of blood 
is shed here to-day, be sure that not one of these 
Frenchmen get back to their vessels. But be sure 
and" — he said it with great emphasis, "let Criugy be 
the first man killed." 

This was more than Cringy had bargained for. And 
how is he to get out of this awkward scrape? The 
lion has been aroused, and how shall he be pacified? 
But this is just the position to call out Cringy 's 
peculiar gift, and he set to work in the most penitent 
terms. He acknowledged, and begged pardon for his 
rash, unadvised counsel; reminded his father-in-law 
that they were all liable to do wrong sometimes, and 
that this was the most grievous error of his whole life. 
And as to the threat of the commodore, a single word 
from him would be sufficient to put a stop to all hostile 

The wrath of the King was assuaged. The com- 
modore, however, by this time had grown impatient 
to know what was going on, and especially, why the 
people had left the house so abruptly. With the 
utmost self-possession, Cringy replied that the people 
had gone to catch a sheep, which the King had ordered 
for the commodore's dinner; and as to signing the 
paper, that would be done when the commodore was 
ready to take his departure. And to effect these two 
objects, Cringy relied wholly upon his own power of 

True enough the sheep was produced and the paper 
was signed. King George and the French commodore 
parted good friends, and neither of them knew for 


more than a month after, the double game which 
Cringy had played; and what was more remarkable 
than all, Cringy was rewarded by the restoration of 
his wife.* 

* "Western Africa." Wilson. 



The slave-trade has been the great obstacle to the 
civilization of Africa, the development of her re- 
sources, and the welfare of the Negro race. The pros- 
pect of gain, which this traffic held out to the natives, 
induced one tribe to make war upon another, burn the 
villages, murder the old, and kidnap the young. In 
return, the successful marauders received in payment 
gunpowder and rum, two of the worst enemies of an 
ignorant and degraded people. 

Fired with ardent spirits, and armed with old mus- 
kets, these people would travel from district to 
district, leaving behind them smouldering ruins, heart- 
stricken friends, and bearing with them victims whose 
market value was to inflame the avaricious passions of 
the inhabitants of the new world. 

While the enslavement of one portion of the people 
of Africa by another has been a custom of many cen- 
turies, to the everlasting shame and disgrace of the 
Portuguese, it must be said they were the first to en- 
gage in the foreign slave-trade. As early as the year 
1503, a few slaves were sent from a Portuguese set- 



tlement in Africa into the Spanish colonies in Amer- 
ica. In 1511 Ferdinand, the fifth king of Spain, 
permitted them to be carried in great numbers. 

Ferdinand, however, soon saw the error of this, and 
ordered the trade to be stopped. At the death of the 
King, a proposal was made by Bartholomew de las 
Cassas, the bishop of Chiapa, to Cardinal Ximenes, 
who held the reins of the government of Spain till 
Charles V. came to the throne, for the establishment 
of a regular system of commerce in the persons of 
the native Africans. The cardinal, however, with a 
foresight, a benevolence, and a justice which will 
always do honor to his memory, refused the proposal; 
not only judging it to be unlawful to consign innocent 
people to slavery at all , but to be very inconsistent to 
deliver the inhabitants of one country over for the 
benefit of another. 

Charles soon came to the throne, the cardinal died, 
and in 1517 the King granted a patent to one of his 
Flemish favorites, containing an exclusive right of im- 
porting four thousand Africans into the islands St. 
Domingo, Porto Rico, Cuba, and Jamaica. In 1562 
the English, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 
commenced the importation of African slaves, which 
were taken to Hispaniola by Sir John Hawkins. The 
trade then became general. The French persuaded 
Louis XIII., then King of France, that it would be 
aiding the cause of Christianity to import the Afri- 
cans into the colonies, where thev could be converted 
to the Christian religion ; and the French embarked in 
the trade. 

The Dutch were too sharp-eyed to permit such an 
opportunity to fill their coffers to pass by, so they fol- 


lowed the example set by the Portuguese, the English, 
and the French. The trade 1 being considered lawful 
by all countries, and especially in Africa, the means 
of obtaining slaves varied according to the wishes of 
the traders. 

Some whites travelled through the country as far 
as it was practical, and bartered goods for slaves, 
chaining them together, who followed their masters 
from town to town until they reached the coast, where 
they were sold to the owners of ships. Others located 
themselves on the coast and in the interior, and 
bought the slaves as they were brought in for sale. 

A chief of one of the tribes of the Guinea coast, 
who had been out on a successful marauding expedi- 
tion, in which he had captured some two hundred 
slaves, took them to the coast, sold his chattels to the 
captain of a vessel, and was invited on board the ship. 
The chief with his three sons and attendants had 
scarcely reached the deck of the ship when they 
were seized, hand-cuffed, and placed with the other 
Negroes, which enabled the captain to save the pur- 
chase money, as well as adding a dozen more slaves 
to his list. 

Had this happened in the nineteenth century, i* 
would have been pronounced a "Yankee trick." 

Some large ships appeared at the slave-trading 
towns on the coast, ready to convey to the colonies 
any slaves whose owners might see fit to engage them. 
Their cargoes would often be made up of the slaves of 
half a dozen parties, on which occasions the chattels 
would sometimes become mixed, and cause a dispute 
as to the ownership. To avoid this, the practice of 
branding the slaves on the coast before shipping them, 


was introduced. Branding a human being on the 
naked body, the hot iron hissing in the quivering 
flesh, the cries and groans of the helpless creatures, 
were scenes enacted a few years ago, and which the 
African slave-trader did not deny. 

There on a rude mat, spread upon the ground, 
A stalwart Negro lieth firmly bound ; 
His brawny chest one brutal captor smites, 
And notice to the ringing sound invites; 
Another opes his mouth the teeth to show, 
As cattle-dealers aye are wont to do. 
Hark, to that shrill and agonizing cry! 
Gaze on that upturned, supplicating eye ! 

How the flesh quivers, and how shrinks the frame, 
As the initials of her owner's name 
Burn on the back of that Mandingo girl; 
Yet calmly do the smoke-wreaths upward curl 
From his cigar, whose right unfaltering hand 
Lights with a match the cauterizing brand, 
The while his left doth the round shoulder clasp, 

And hold his victim in a vise-like grasp. 


As cruel as was the preparation before leaving their 
native land, it was equalled, if not surpassed, by the 
passage on shipboard. Two thousand human beings 
put on a vessel not capable of accommodating half that 
number; disease breaking out amongst the slaves, 
when but a few days on the voyage; the dead and the 
dying thrown overboard, and the cries and groans 
coming forth from below decks is but a faint picture 
of the horrid trade. 

"All ready?" cried the captain; 

"Ay, ay!" the seamen said; 
"Heave up the worthless lubbers — 

The dying and the dead." 


Up from the slave-ship's prison 
Fierce, bearded brads wore thrust ; 
"Now let the sharks look to it — 
Toss up the dead ones first! " 

Slave-factories, or trading-pens, were established up 
and down the coast. And although England for many 
years kepi a fleet in African waters, to watch and 

break up this abominable traffic the swiftness of 
the slavers, and t\n* adroitness of their pilots, enabled 
them to escape detection by gaining hiding-places in 

some of the small streams on the coast, or by 1 inning 
to tin; ocean until a better opportunity offered itself 
for landing. 

Calabar and Bonny were the two largest dave-markets 
on the African coast. From these places alone twenty 
thousand slaves were shipped, in the year 1806. It 
may therefore be safe to say, thai fifty thousand slaves 
were yearly sent into the colonies at this period; or 
rather, sent from the const, for many thousands who 
were shipped, never reached their place of destination. 
During the period when this traffic was carried on 
without any interference on the part of the British 
government, caravans of slaves were marched down 
to Loaup;o from the distance of several hundred 
miles, and each able-bodied man was required to bring 
down a tooth of ivory. In this way a double traffic 
was carried on; that in ivory by the English and 
American vessels, and the slaves by the Portuguese. 

All who have investigated the subject, know that the 
rivers Benin, Bonny, Brass, Kalabar, and Kameruns, 
were once the chief seats of this trade. It is through 
these rivers that the Niger discharges itself into the 
ocean ; and as the factories near the mouths of these dif- 


ferent branches had great facility of access to the heart 
of Africa, it is probable that the traffic was carried on 
more vigorously here than anywhere else on the coast. 

But the abolition of the slave-trade by England, and 
the presence of the British squadron on the coast, has 
nearly broken up the trade. 

The number of vessels now engaged in carrying on 
a lawful trade in these rivers is between fifty and 
sixty; and so decided are the advantages reaped by 
the natives from this change in their commercial 
affairs, that it is not believed they would ever revert 
to it again, even if all outward restraints were taken 
away. So long as the African seas were given up to 
piracy and the slave-trade, and the aborigines in 
consequence were kept in constant excitement and 
warfare, it was almost impossible either to have 
commenced or continued a missionary station on the 
coast for the improvement of the natives. And the fact 
that there was none anywhere between Sierra Leone 
and the Cape of Good Hope, previous to the year 1832, 
shows that it was regarded as impracticable.* 

Christianity does not invoke the aid of the sword; 
but when she can shield from the violence of lawless 
men by the intervention of "the powers that be," or 
when the providence of God goes before and smoothes 
down the waves of discord and strife, she accepts it as 
a grateful boon, and discharges her duty with greater 
alacrity and cheerfulness. 

Throughout all the region where the slave-trade was 
once carried on, there is great decline in business, 
except where that traffic has been replaced by legiti- 
mate commerce or agriculture. Nor could it well be 

* Wilson's "Western Africa." 


otherwise. The very measures which were employed 
in carrying on this detestable traffic at Least over 
three-fourths of tin 4 country . were in themselves quite 

sufficient to undermine any government in the world. 


For a long term of years the Blaves were procured 
on the part of these Larger and more powerful gov- 
ernments by waging war against their feebler neisrh- 
bors for this express purpose; and in this way they 
not only cut off all the sources of their own prosperity 
and wealth, but the people themselves, while waging 
this ruthless and inhuman warfare, were imbibing 


notions and principles which would make it impossi- 
ble for them to cohere Long as organized nations. 

The bill for the abolition of the British slave-trade 
received the royal assenl on .March 25, 1*07; and this 

law came into operation on and alter January 1, 1*08. 
That was a deed well done; and glorious was the 

result for humanity. To William Wilberforce, Thomas 
Clarkson, Granville Sharp, and a few others, is the 
credit due for this great act. 

Although the slave-trade was abolished by the British 
government, and afterwards by the American and some 
other nations, the slave-trade still continued, and exists 
even at the present day, in a more limited form, 
except, perhaps, in Northern and Central Africa, and 
on the Nile. In that section the trade is carried on in 
the most gigantic manner. It begins every year in the 
month of August, w T hen the traders prepare for a large 

All the preparations having been completed, they 
ascend the Nile in a regular squadron. Every expe- 
dition means war; and, according to its magnitude, is 
provided with one hundred to one thousand armed 


men. The soldiers employed consist of the miserable 
Dongolowie, who carry double-barrelled shot-guns and 
knives, and are chiefly noted for their huge appetites 
and love of marissa (beer) . Each large dealer has his 
own territory, and he resents promptly any attempt 
of another trader to trespass thereon. 

For instance, Agate, the most famous of all African 
slave-traders, knew, and his men frequently visited, 
the Victoria Nyanza, long before Speke ever dreamed 
of it. Agate's station is now near the Nyanza, and he 
keeps up a heavy force there, as indeed he does at all 
his stations. When the expedition is ready, it mores 
slowly up to the Ncam-Neain country, for instances 
and if one tribe is hostile to another, he joins with 
the strongest and takes his pay in slaves. Active 
spies are kept in' liberal pay to inform him of the 
number and quality of the young children; and when 
the chief believes he can steal one hundred he 
settles down to work, for that figure means four 
thousand dollars. He makes a landing with his 
human hounds, after having reconnoitred the posi- 
tion, — generally in the night time. At dawn he 
moves forward on the village, and the alarm is spread 
among the Negroes, who herd together behind their 
aboriginal breastplates, and fire clouds of poisoned 
arrows. The trader opens with musketry, and then 
begins a general massacre of men, women, and chil- 
dren. The settlement, surrounded by inflammable 
grass, is given to the flames, and the entire habitation 
is laid in ashes. Probably out of the wreck of one 
thousand charred and slaughtered people, his reserve 
has caught the one hundred coveted women and chil- 
dren, who are flying from death in wild despair. 


They are yoked together by a long pole, and march* I 
off from their homes forever. One-third of them m a y 
have the small-pox; and then with this infected cargo 
the trader proceeds to his nearest station. 

Thence the Negroes are clandestinely sent across 
the desert to Kordofan, whence they are dispersed 
over Lower Egypt and other markets. . It not infre- 
quently happens that the Negroes succeed in killing 
their adversaries in these combats. But the blacks 
here are not brave. They generally fly after a loss of 
several killed, except with the Neam-Neams, who 
always fight with a bravery commensurate with their 
renown as cannibals. 

The statistics of the slave-trade are difficult to obtain 
with absolute accuracy, but an adequate approximation 
may be reached. It is safe to say that the annual 
export of slaves from the country lying between the 
Red Sea and the Great Desert is twenty -five thousand a 
year, distributed as follows: From Abyssinia, carried 
to Jaffa or Gallabat, ten thousand; issuing by other 
routes of Abyssinia, five thousand; by the Blue Nile, 
three thousand; by the White Nile, seven thousand. 
To obtain these twenty-five thousand slaves and sell 
them in market, more than fifteen thousand are annually 
killed, and often the mortality reaches the terrible 
figure of fifty thousand. It is a fair estimate that 
fifty thousand children are stolen from their parents 
every year. Of the number forced into slavery, fifteen 
thousand being boys and ten thousand girls, it is 
found that about six thousand go to Lower Egypt, 
two thousand are made soldiers, nine thousand con- 
cubines, five hundred eunuchs, five thousand cooks 
or servants, while ten thousand eventually die from 


the climate, and three thousand obtain their papers of 
freedom. They are dispersed over three million 
square miles of territory, and their blood finally 
mingles with that of the Turk, the Arab, and the 
European. The best black soldiers are recruited from 
the Dinkas, who are strong, handsome Negroes, the 
finest of the White Nile. The other races are thickly 
built and clumsy, and are never ornamental; the Abys- 
sinians, for whatever service and of whatever class, 
excel all their rival victims in slavery. They are quiet 
and subdued, and seldom treacherous or insubordinate. 
They prefer slavery, many of them, to freedom, be- 
cause they have no aspirations that are inordinate. 
The girls are delicate, and not built for severe labor. 
Though born and bred in a country where concubines 
are as legitimate and as much honored as wives, they 
revolt against the terrors of polygamy. 

In Abyssinia there is a feature of the slave -com- 
merce which does not seem to exist elsewhere. The 
natives themselves enslave their own countrymen and 
countrywomen. Since the death of Theodore, the 
country has been the scene of complex civil war. Each 
tribe is in war against its neighbor: and when the issue 
comes to a decisive battle, the victor despoils his an- 
tagonist of all his property, makes merchandise of the 
children, and forwards them to the Egyptian post of 
Gallabat, where they find a ready and active market. 
All along the frontier there is no attempt to prevent 
slavery. It exists with the sanction of the officials, 
and by their direct co-operation. Another profession 
is that of secret kidnappers. The world knows little 
how much finesse and depravity and duplicity are 
required in this business. The impression is abroad, 


that the slave-trade provokes nothing more than mur- 
der, theft, arson, and rape. But it is a disgraceful fact 
that some traders habitually practice the most inhuman 
deception to accomplish their end. They frequently 
settle down in communities and households in the guise 
of benefactors, and while so situated they register each 
desirable boy and girl, and afterward conspire to kid- 
nap or kill them, as chance may have it. Such is the 
story of the African slave-trade of to-day. 



The Republic of Liberia lies on the west coast of 
Africa, and was settled by emigrants from the United 
States in 1822. 

The founders of this government met with many 
obstacles: First, disease; then opposition from the 
natives; all of which, however, they heroically over- 

The territory owned by the Liberian government 
extends some six hundred miles along the West Afri- 
can coast, and reaches back indefinitely towards the 
interior, the native title to which has been fairly pur- 

It has brought within its elevating influence at least 
two hundred thousand of the native inhabitants, who 
are gradually acquiring the arts, comforts, and conven- 
iences of civilized life. It has a regularly-organized 
government, modelled after our own, with all the 
departments in successful operation. Schools, sem- 
inaries, a college, and some fifty churches, belonging 
to seven different denominations, are in a hopeful con- 
dition. Towns and cities are being built where once 
9 (129) 


the slave-trade flourished with all its untold cruelty, 
bloodshed, aud carnage. Agriculture is extending, 
and commerce is increasing. The Republic of Liberia 
numbers to-day among its civilized inhabitants, about 
thirty thousand persons, about fifteen thousand of 
which are American Liberians; that is, those who have 
emigrated from the United States with their descend- 
ants. More than three hundred thousand aborigines 
reside within the territory of Liberia, and are brought 
more or less directly under the influence and control 
of her civilized institutions. There are churches ill 
the Republic, representing different denominations, 
with their Sunday Schools and Bible classes, and 
contributing something every week for missionary 
purposes. The exports in the year 1866, amounted 
to about three hundred thousand dollars. 

The undeveloped capacities for trade, no one can 
estimate. With a most prolific soil, and a climate 
capable of producing almost every variety of tropical 
fruit, the resources of the land are beyond computa- 
tion. A sea-coast line, six hundred miles in length, 
and an interior stretching indefinitely into the heart of 
the country, offer the most splendid facilities for for- 
eign commerce. 

For a thousand miles along the coast, and two hun- 
dred miles inland, the influence of the government has 
been brought to bear upon domestic slavery among the 
natives, and upon the extirpation of the slave-trade, 
until both have ceased to exist. 

The interior presents a country inviting in all its 
aspects; a fine, rolling country, abounding in streams 
and rivulets; forests of timber in great variety, abun- 
dance, and usefulness; and I have no doubt quite salu- 


brious, being free from the miasmatic influences of the 
mangrove swamps near the coast. 

The commercial resources of Liberia, even at the 
present time, though scarcely commenced to be devel- 
oped, are of sufficient importance to induce foreigners, 
American and European, to locate in the Republic for 
the purposes of trade; and the agricultural and com- 
mercial sources of wealth in Western and Central 
Africa are far beyond the most carefully-studied spec- 
ulation of those even who are best acquainted with the 
nature and capacity of the country. The development 
of these will continue to progress, and must, in the 
very nature of things, secure to Liberia great com- 
mercial importance; and this will bring her citizens 
into such business relations with the people of other 
portions of the world as will insure to them that con- 
sideration which wealth, learning, and moral worth 
never fail to inspire. 

From the beginning, the people of Liberia, with a 
commendable zeal and firmness, pursued a steady 
purpose towards the fulfilment of the great object of 
their mission to Africa. They have established on her 
shores an asylum free from political oppression, and 
from all the disabilities of an unholy prejudice; they 
have aided essentially in extirpating the slave-trade 
from the whole line of her western coast ; they have 
introduced the blessings of civilization and Chris- 
tianity among her heathen population, and by their 
entire freedom from all insubordination, or disregard 
of lawful authority, and by their successful diplomacy 
with England, France, and Spain, on matters involv- 
ing very perplexing international questions, they have 


indicated some ability, at least for self -government 
and the management of their own public affairs. 

The banks of the St. Paul's, St. John's, Siuoe, and 
Earmington Rivers, and of the River Cavalla, now 
teeming with civilized life and industry, presenting 
to view comfortable Christian homes, inviting school- 
houses and imposing church edifices, but for the 
founding of Liberia would have remained until this 
day studded with slave-barracoons, the theatres of 
indescribable suffering, wickedness, and shocking 

Liberia is gradually growing in the elements of na- 
tional stability. The natural riches of that region are 
enormous, and are such as, sooner or later, will sup- 
port a commerce, to which that at present existing on 
the coast is merely fractional. The Liberians own and 
run a fleet of "coasters," collecting palm-oil, cam- 
wood, ivory, gold-dust, and other commodities. A 
schooner of eighty tons was built,- costing eleven 
thousand dollars, and loaded in the autumn of 1866, at 
New York, from money and the proceeds of African 
produce sent for that purpose by an enterprising mer- 
chant of Grand Bassa County. 

A firm at Monrovia are having a vessel built in 
one of the ship-yards of New York to cost fifteen 
thousand dollars. 

An intelligent friend has given us the following as 
an approximate estimate of the sugar- crop on the St. 
Paul's in 1866: Sharp, one hundred and twenty thou- 
sand pounds; Cooper, thirty thousand pounds; Ander- 
son, thirty -five thousand pounds; Howland, forty 
thousand pounds; Roe, thirty thousand pounds; 
sundry smaller farmers, one hundred and fifty thou- 


sand; total, five hundred and seventy-five thousand 
pounds. The coffee-crop also is considerable, though 
we are not able to state how much.' , 

During the year 1866, not less than six hundred 
tons of cam-wood, twelve hundred tons of palm-oil, 
and two hundred tons of palm-kernels, were included 
in the exports of the Republic. And these articles 
of commercial enterprise and wealth are capable of 
being increased to almost any extent. 

The Colonization Society, under whose auspices 
the colony of Liberia was instituted, was, as the 
writer verily believes, inimical to the freedom of the 
American slaves, and therefore brought down upon it 
the just condemnation of the American abolitionists, 
and consequently placed the people in a critical posi- 
tion; I mean the colonists. But from the moment 
that the Liberians in 1847 established a Republic, 
unfurled their national banner to the breeze, and began 
to manage their own affairs, we then said, "Cursed 
be the hand of ours that shall throw a stone at our 
brother . " 

Fortunately, for the colony, many of the emigrants 
were men of more than ordinary ability; men who went 
out with a double purpose; first, to seek homes for 
themselves and families out of the reach of the Amer- 
ican prejudice; second, to carry the gospel of civiliza- 
tion to their brethren. These men had the needed 
grit and enthusiasm. 

Moles, Teage, and Johnson, are names that we in our 
boyhood learned to respect and love. Roberts, Ben- 
son, Warner, Crummell, and James, men of more recent 
times, have done much to give Liberia her deservedly 
high reputation. 


With a government modelled after our own consti- 
tution and laws, that are an honor to any people, and 
administered by men of the genius and ability which 
characterizes the present ruling power, Liberia is 
destined to hold an influential place in the history of 
nations. Her splendid resources will yet be developed ; 
her broad rivers will be traversed by the steamship, 
and her fertile plains will yet resound to the thunder 
of the locomotive. The telegraph wire will yet catch 
up African news and deposit it in the Corn Exchange, 
London, and Wall Street, New York. 

That moral wilderness is yet to blossom with the 
noblest fruits of civilization and the sweetest flowers of 
religion. She will yet have her literature, her histo- 
rians and her poets. Splendid cities will rise where 
now there are nothing but dark jungles. 



It is a pleasing fact to relate that the last fifty years 
have witnessed much advance towards civilization in 
Africa; and especially on the west coast. This has 
resulted mainly from the successful efforts made to 
abolish the slave-trade. To the English first, and to 
the Liberians next, the praise must be given for the 
suppression of this inhuman and unchristian traffic. 
Too much, however, cannot be said in favor of the 
missionaries, men and women, who, forgetting native 
land, and home-comforts, have given themselves to the 
work of teaching these people, and thereby canning 
civilization to a country where each went with his life 
in his hands. 

Amongst the natives themselves, in several of the 
nations, much interest is manifested in theicr own eleva- 
tion. The invention of an alphabet for writing their 
language, by the Veys, and this done too by their 
own ingenuity, shows remarkable advancement with a 
race hitherto regarded as unequal to such a task. 

This progress in civilization is confined more strictly 
to the Jalofs, the Mandingoes, and the Fulahs, inhabit- 



ing the Senegambia, and the Veys, of whom I have 
already made mention. Prejudice of race exists among 
the Africans, as well as with other nations. This is 
not, however, a prejudice of color, but of clan or tribe. 
The Jalofs, for instance, are said by travellers to be 
the handsomest Negroes in Africa. They are proud, 
haughty, and boast of their superiority over other 
tribes, and will not intermarry with them; yet they 
have woolly hair, thick lips, and flat noses, but with 
tall and graceful forms. In religion they are Mo- 

Rev. Samuel Crowther has been one of the most 
successful missionaries that the country has yet had. 
He is a native, which no doubt gives him great advan- 
tage over others. His two sons, Josiah and Samuel, 
are following in the footsteps of their illustrious 

The influences of these gentlemen have been felt 
more directly in the viciuity of Lagos and Abeo- 
kuta. The Senior Crowther is the principal Bishop 
in Africa, and is doing a good work for his denomi- 
nation, and humanity. 

Native eloquence, and fine specimens of oratory may 
be heard in many of the African assemblies. Their 
popular speakers show almost as much skill in the use 
of happy illustrations, striking analogies, pointed 
argument, historical details, biting irony, as any set of 
public speakers in the world; and for ease, grace, and 
naturalness of manner, they are perhaps unsurpassed. 
The audiences usually express their assent by a sort 
of grunt, which rises in tone, and frequently in pro- 
portion as the speaker becomes animated, and not 
unfrequently swells out into a tremendous shout, and 


thus terminates the discussion in accordance with the 
views of the speaker. He has said exactly what was 
in the heart of the assembly, and they have no more to 
say or hear on the subject.* Civilization is receiving 
an impetus from the manufacturing of various kinds of 
goods as carried on by the people through Africa, and 
epecially in the Egba, Yoruba, and Senegambia coun- 
tries. Iron-smelting villages, towns devoted entirely 
to the manufacturing of a particular kind of ware, and 
workers in leather, tailors, weavers, hat, basket, and 
mat-makers, also workers in silk and worsted may be 
seen in many of the large places. 

Some of these products would compare very favor- 
ably with the best workmanship of English and Amer- 
ican manufacturers. 

Much is done in gold, silver, and brass, and jewelry 
of a high order is made in the more civilized parts of 
the country. 

The explorations of ' various travellers through 
Africa, during the past twenty-five years, have aided 
civilization materially. A debt of gratitude is due 
to Dr. Livingstone for his labors in this particular 

I have already made mention of the musical talent 
often displayed in African villages, to the great sur- 
prise of the traveller. 

The following account from the distinguished ex- 
plorer, will be read with interest. Dr. Livingstone 
says: "We then inquired of the King relative to his 
band of music, as we heard he had one. He re- 
sponded favorably, saying he had a band, and it 
should meet and play for us at once. Not many min- 

* Wilson's "Western Africa." 


utes elapsed until right in front of our house a large 
fire was kindled, and the band was on the ground. 
They began to play; and be assured I was not a little 
surprised at the harmony of their musie. The band 
was composed of eight members, six of whom had 
horns, made of elephant tusks, beautifully carved and 
painted. These all gave forth different sounds, or 
tones. The bass horn was made of a large tusk; and 
as they ascended the scale the horns were less. They 
had a hole cut into the tusk near its thin end, into 
which they blew the same as into a flute or fife. 
They had no holes for the fingers, hence the different 
tones were produced by the lengths of the horns, and 
by putting the hand into the large, open part of the 
horn and as;ain removing it. I noticed that one small 
horn had the large end closed and the small one 
open. The different tones were produced by the 
performer opening and closing this end with the palm 
of his hand. They had also two drums ; one had three 
heads placed on hollow sticks or logs, from one to two 
feet long; the other had but one head; they beat them 
with their hands, not sticks. I however saw a large 
war-drum, about five feet high, made on the principle 
of the above, which was beaten with sticks. The band 
serenaded us three times during our stay. They played 
different tunes, and there was great variety through- 
out their performance; sometimes only one horn was 
played, sometimes two or three, and then all would 
join in; sometimes the drums beat softly, then again 
loud and full. The horns used in this band are also 
used for war-horns. 

At about eleven o'clock we were awakened by music, 
— a human voice and an instrument — right before our 


door. "What is it?" "A guitar?" "No; but it 
is fine music.' ' "Ah! it is a harp. Let us invite 
him in." Such conjectures as the above were made 
as the old man stood before our door and sang and 
played most beautifully. We invited him in; and 
true enough, we found it to be a species of harp with 
twelve strings. He sang and played a long while, and 
then retired, — having proven to us that even far out 
in the wild jungles of Africa, that most noble of all 
human sciences is to a certain degree cultivated. We 
were serenaded thrice by him. He came from far in 
the interior." 

One of the greatest obstacles to civilization in 
Africa, is the traders. These pests are generally of 
a low order in education, and many of them have fled 
from their own country, to evade the punishment of 
some crime committed. Most of them are foul-mouthed, 
licentious men, who spread immorality wherever they 
appear. It would be a blessing to the natives if nine- 
tenths of these leeches were driven from the country. 



In sketching an account of the people of Hayti, and 
the struggles through which they "were called to pass, 
we confess it to be a difficult task. Although the 
writer visited the Island thirty years ago, and has read 
everything of importance given by the historians, 
it is still no easy matter to give a true statement of 
the revolution which placed the colored people in 
possession of the Island, so conflicting are the accounts. 

The beautiful island of St. Domingo, of which Hayti 
is a part, was pronounced by the great discoverer to 
be the "Paradise of God." 

The splendor of its valleys, the picturesqueness of 
its mountains, the tropical luxuriance of its plains, and 
the unsurpassed salubrity of its climate, confirms the 
high opinion of the great Spaniard. Columbus found 
on the Island more than a million of people of the. Car- 
ibbean race. The warlike appearance of the Spaniards 
caused the natives to withdraw into the interior. How- 
ever, the seductive genius of Columbus soon induced 
the Caribbeans to return to their towns, and they 
extended their hospitality to the illustrious stranger. 


HAYTI. 141 

After the great discoverer had been recalled home 
and left the Island, Dovadillo, his successor, began a 
system of unmitigated oppression towards the Caribbe- 
ans, and eventually reduced the whole of the inhabit- 
ants to slavery; and thus commenced that hateful sin 
in the New World. As fresh adventurers arrived in 
the Island, the Spanish power became more consoli- 
dated and more oppressive. The natives were made to 
toil in the gold-mines without compensation, and in 
many instances without any regard whatever to the 
preservation of human life; so much so, that in 1507, 
the number of natives had, by hunger, toil, and the 
sword, been reduced from a million to sixty thousand. 
Thus, in the short space of fifteen years, more than 
nine hundred thousand perished under the iron hand of 
slavery in the island of St. Domingo. 

The Island suffered much from the loss of its origi- 
nal inhabitants; and the want of laborers to till the 
soil and to work in the mines, first suggested the idea 
of importing slaves from the coast of Africa. The 
slave-trade was soon commenced and carried on with 
great rapidity. Before the Africans were shipped, the 
name of the owner and the plantation on which they 
were to toil was stamped on their shoulders with a 
burning iron. For a number of years St. Domingo 
opened its markets annually to more than twenty thou- 
sand newly-imported slaves. With the advance of 
commerce and agriculture, opulence spread in every 
direction. The great tide of immigration from France 
and Spain, and the vast number of Africans imported 
every year, so increased the population that at the 
commencement of the French Revolution, in 1789, 
there were nine hundred thousand souls on the Island. 


Of these, seven hundred thousand were Africans, 
sixty thousand mixed blood, and the remainder were 
whites and Caribbeans. Like the involuntary servi- 
tude in our own Southern States, slavery in St. 
Domingo kept morality at a low stand. Owing to the 
amalgamation between masters and slaves, there arose 
the mulatto population, which eventually proved to be 
the worst enemies of their fathers. 

Many of the planters sent their malatto sons to France 
to be educated. When these young men returned to 
the Island, they were greatly dissatisfied at the pro- 
scription which met them wherever they appeared. 
White enough to make them hopeful and aspiring, 
many of the mulattoes possessed wealth enough to make 
them influential. Aware, by their education, of the 
principles of freedom that were being advocated ip. 
Europe and the United States, they were ever on the 
watch to seize opportunities to better their social 
and political condition. In the French part of the 
Island alone, twenty thousand whites lived in the midst 
of thirty thousand free mulattoes and five hundred 
thousand slaves. In the Spanish portion, the odds 
were still greater in favor of the slaves. Thus the 
advantage of numbers and physical strength was on the 
side of the oppressed. Eight is the most dangerous of 
weapons — woe to him who leaves it to his enemies ! 

The efforts of Wilberforce, Sharp, Buxton, and 
Clarkson, to abolish the African slave-trade, and their 
advocacy of the equality of the races, were well under- 
stood by the men of color. They had also learned 
their own strength in the Island, and that they had the 
sympathy of all Europe with them. The news of the 
oath of the Tennis Court, and the taking of the Bastile 

HAYTI. 143 

at Paris, was received with the wildest enthusiasm by 
the people of St. Domingo. 

The announcement of these events was hailed with 
delight by both the white planters and the mulattoes; 
the former, because they hoped the revolution in the 
Mother Country would secure to them the independence 
of the colony; the latter, because they viewed it as a 
movement that would give them equal rights with the 
whites; and even the slaves regarded it as a precursor 
to their own emancipation. But the excitement which 
the outbreak at Paris had created amongst the free 
men of color and the slaves, at once convinced the 
planters that a separation from France would be the 
death-knell of slavery in St. Domingo. 

Although emancipated by law from the dominion 
of individuals, the mulattoes had no rights; shut out 
from society by their color, deprived of religious and 
political privileges, they felt their degradation even 
more keenly than the bond slaves. The mulatto son 
was not allowed to dine at his father's table, kneel 
with him in his devotions, bear his name, inherit his 
property, nor even to lie in his father's graveyard. 
Laboring as they were under the sense of their 
personal social wrongs, the mulattoes tolerated, if 
they did not encourage, low and vindictive passions. 
They were haughty and disdainful to the blacks, whom 
they scorned, and jealous and turbulent to the whites, 
whom they hated and feared. 

The mulattoes at once despatched one of their number 
to Paris, to lay before the Constitutional Assembly 
their claim to equal rights with the whites. Vincent 
Oge, their deputy, was well received at Paris by 
Lafayette, Brisot, Barnave, and Gregoire, and was 


admitted to a seat in the Assembly, where he elo- 
quently portrayed the wrongs of his race. In urging 
his claims, he said if equality was withheld from the 
mulattoes, they would appeal to force. This was 
seconded by Lafayette and Barnave, who said : "Perish 
the Colonies, rather than a principle." 

The Assembly passed a decree, granting the demands 
of the men of color, and Oge was made bearer of the 
news to his brethren. The planters armed themselves, 
met the young deputy on his return to the Island, and 
a battle ensued. The free colored men rallied around 
Oge, but they were defeated and taken, with their brave 
leader; were first tortured, and then broken alive on 
the wheel. 

The prospect of freedom was put down for the time, 
but the blood of Oge and his companions bubbled 
silently in the hearts of the African race ; they swore 
to avenge them. 

The announcement of the death of Oge in the halls 
of the Assembly at Paris, created considerable excite- 
ment, and became the topic of conversation in the 
clubs and on the boulevards. Gregoire defended the 
course of the colored men and said: "If liberty was 
right in France, it was right in St. Domingo." He 
well knew that the crime for which Oge had suffered 
in the West Indies, had constituted the glory of Mir- 
abeau and Lafayette at Paris, and Washington and 
Hancock in the United States. The planters in the 
Island trembled at their own oppressive acts, and 
terror urged them on to greater violence. The blood 
of Oge and his accomplices had sown everywhere 
despair and conspiracy. The French sent an army to 
St. Domingo to enforce the law. 

HAYTI. 145 

The planters repelled with force the troops sent out 
by France, denying its prerogatives, and refusing the 
civic oath. In the midst of these thickening troubles, 
the planters who resided in France were invited to 
return, and to assist in vindicating the civil indepen- 
dence of the Island. Then was it that the mulattoes 
earnestly appealed to the slaves, and the result was 
appalling. The slaves awoke as from an ominous 
dream, and demanded their rights with sword in hand. 
Gaining immediate success, and finding that their 
liberty would not be granted by the planters, they 
rapidly increased in numbers ; and in less than a week 
from its commencement, the storm had swept over the 
whole plain of the north, from east to west, and from 
the mountains to the sea. The splendid villas and 
rich factories yielded to the furies of the devouring 
f James; so that the mountains, covered with smoke 
and burning cinders, borne upward by the wind looked 
like volcanoes; and the atmosphere as if on fire, resem- 
bled a furnace. 

Such were the outraged feelings of a people whose 
ancestors had been ruthlessly torn from their native 
land and sold in the shambles of St. Domingo. To 
terrify the blacks and convince them that they could 
never be free, the planters were murdering them on 
every hand by thousands. 

The struggle in St. Domingo was watched with 
intense interest by the friends of the blacks, both in 
Paris and in London, and all appeared to look with 
hope to the rising up of a black chief, who should 
prove himself adequate to the emergency. Nor did 
they look in vain. In the midst of the disorder that 
threatened on all sides, the negro chief made his 


appearance in the person of a slave named Toussaint. 
This man was the grandson of the King of Ardra, one 
of the most powerful and wealthy monarchs on the 
west coast of Africa. By his own energy and perse- 
verance, Toussaint had learned to read and write, and 
was held in high consideration by the surrounding 
planters, as well as their slaves. 

In personal appearance he was of middle stature, 
strongly-marked African features, well-developed fore- 
head, rather straight and neat figure, sharp and bright 
eye, with an earnestness in conversation that seemed 
to charm the listener. His dignified, calm, and un- 
affected demeanor would cause him to be selected in 
any company of men as one who was born for a leader. 

His private virtues were many, and he had a deep 
and pervading sense of religion; and in the camp car- 
ried it even as far as Oliver Cromwell. Toussaint was 
born on the Island, and was fifty years of age when 
called into the field. One of his chief characteristics 
was his humanity. 

Before taking any part in the revolution, he aided 
his master's family to escape from the impending 
danger. After seeing them beyond the reach of the 
revolutionary movement, he entered the array as an in- 
ferior officer, but was soon made aid-de-camp to Gen- 
eral Bissou. Disorder and bloodshed reigned through 
the Island, and every day brought fresh intelligence of 
depredations committed by whites, mulattoes, and 

Hitherto, the blacks had been guided by Jean-Fran- 
cois, Bissou, and Jeannot. The first of these was a 
slave, a young Creole of good exterior; he had long 
before the revolution obtained his liberty. At the 

HAYTI. 147 

commencement of the difficulties, he fled to the moun- 
tains and joined the Maroons, a large clan of fugitive 
slaves then wandering about in the woods and moun- 
tains, that furnished this class a secure retreat. This 
man was mild, vain, good-tempered, and fond of 

Bissou belonged to the religious body designated 
"The Fathers of Charily." He was fiery, wrathful, 
rash, and vindictive; always in action, always on 
horseback, with a white sash, and feathers in his hat, 
or basking in the sunshine of the women, of whom 
he was very fond. Jeannot, a slave of the plantation 
of M. Bullet, was small and slender in person, and of 
boundless activity. Perfidious of soul, his aspect was 
frightful and revolting. Capable of the greatest 
^crimes, he was inaccessible to regret or remorse. 

Having sworn implacable hatred against the whites, 
he thrilled with ra^e when he saw them; and his 
greatest pleasure was to bathe his hands in their blood. 
These three were the leaders of the blacks till the 
appearance of Toussaint; and under their rule, the cry 
was "Blood, blood, blood!" Such was the condition 
of affairs when a decree was passed by the Colonial 
Assembly, giving equal rights to the mulattoes, and 
asking their aid in restoring order and reducing the 
slaves again to their chains. Overcome by this de- 
cree, and having gained all they wished, the free 
colored men joined the planters in a murderous cru- 
sade against the slaves. This union of the whites 
and mulattoes to prevent the bondman getting his 
freedom, created an ill-feeling between the two pro- 
scribed classes, which seventy years have not been able 
to efface. The French government sent a second army 


to St. Domingo to enforce the laws, giving freedom 
to the slaves, and Toussaint joined it on its arrival 
in the Island, and fought bravely against the planters. 

While the people of St. Domingo were thus fight- 
ing amongst themselves, the revolutionary movement 
in France had fallen into the hands of Robespierre 
and Danton, and the guillotine was beheading its 
thousands daily. When the news of the death of 
Louis XVI. reached St. Domingo, Toussaint and his 
companions left the French and joined the Spanish 
army, in the eastern part of the Island, and fought for 
the King of Spain. Here Toussaint was made briga- 
dier-general, and appeared in the field as the most 
determined foe of the French planters. 

The two armies met; a battle was fought in the 
streets, and many thousands were slain on both 
sides; the planters, however, were defeated. During 
the conflict the city was set on fire, and on every side 
presented shocking evidence of slaughter, conflagra- 
tion, and pillage. The strifes of political and religious 
partisanship, which had raged in the clubs and streets 
of Paris, were transplanted to St. Domingo, where 
they raged with all the heat of a tropical clime, and the 
animosities of a civil war. Truly did the flames of the 
French revolution at Paris, and the ignorance and 
self-will of the planters, set the island of St. Domingo 
on fire. The commissioners with their retinue 
retired from the burning city into the neighboring 
highlands, where a camp was formed to protect the 
ruined town from the opposing party. Having no 
confidence in the planters, and fearing a reaction, the 
commissioners proclaimed a general emancipation to 
the slave population, and invited the blacks who had 

HAYTI. 149 

joined the Spaniards to return. Toussaint and his fol- 
lowers accepted the invitation, returned, and were 
enrolled in the army under the commissioners. Fresh 
troops arrived from France, who were no sooner in 
the Island than they separated— some siding with the 
planters, and others with the commissioners. The 
white republicans of the Mother Country were arrayed 
against the white republicans of St Domingo, whom 
they were sent out to assist. The blacks and the 
mulattoes were at war with each other; old and young 
of both sexes, and of all colors, were put to the sword, 
while the fury of the flames swept from plantation to 
plantation, and from town to town. 



During these sad commotions, Toussaint, by his 
superior knowledge of the character of his race, his 
humanity, generosity, and courage, had gained the 
confidence of all whom he had under his command. 
The rapidity with which he travelled from post to post 
astonished every one. By his genius and surpassing 
activity, Toussaint levied fresh forces, rasied the rep- 
utation of the army, and drove the English and 
Spanish from the Island. 

The boiling caldron of the revolution during its 
progress, had thrown upon its surface several new 
military men, whose names became household words in 
St. Domingo. First of these, after Toussaint, was 
Christophe, a man of pure African origin, though a 
native of New Grenada. On being set free at the age 
of fifteen, he came to St. Domingo, where he resided 
until the commencement of the revolution. He had 
an eye full of fire, and a braver man never lived. 
Toussaint early discovered h|s good qualities, and made 
him his lieutenant, from which he soon rose to be a 
general of division. 



As a military man, Christophe was considered far 
superior to Toussaint; and his tall, slim figure, dressed 
in the uniform of a general, was hailed with enthu- 
siasm wherever he appeared. 

Next to Christophe was Dessalines. No one who 
took part in the St. Domingo revolution has been so 
severely censured as this chief. At the commencement 
of the difficulties, Dessalines was the slave of a house 
carpenter, with whom he had learned the trade. He 
was a small man, of muscular frame, and of a dingy 
black. He had a haughty and ferocious ]ook. Hun- 
ger, thirst, fatigue, and loss of sleep he seemed 
made to endure, as if by peculiarity of constitution. 
Dessalines was not a native of either of the West 
India Islands, for the marks upon his arms and breast, 
and the deep furrows and incisions on his face, 
pointed out the coast of Africa as his birth-place. 
Inured by exposure and toil to a hard life, his frame 
possessed a wonderful power of endurance. By his 
activity and singular fierceness ou the field of battle, 
he first attracted the attention of Toussaint, who 
placed him amongst his guides and attendants, and 
subsequently advanced him rapidly through several 
grades, to the dignity of third in command. A more 
courageous man never appeared upon the battle-field. 
What is most strange in the history of Dessalines is, 
that he was a savage, a slave, a soldier, a general, 
and died when an emperor. 

Among the mulattoes were severa] valiant chiefs. 
The ablest of these was Rigaud, the son of a wealthy 
planter. Having been educated at Paris, his manner 
was polished, and his language elegant. Had he been 

152 Tin: RISING SON. 

born in Asia, Bigaud would have governed an empire, 
for he had all the elements of a great man. 

In religion he was the very opposite of Toussaint. 

An admirer of Voltaire and BoUSSeail, he had made 

their works his study. A long residence in Paris 
had enabled him to become acquainted with many of 
the followers of these two distinguished philosophers. 

lie had seen two hundred thousand persons follow- 
ing the bones of Voltaire, when removed to the Pan- 
theon; and, in his admiration lor the great writer, had 
confounded liberty with infidelity. 

Bigaud was the first amongst the mulattoes, and 
had sided with the planters in their warfare against the 
blacks. But the growing influence of this chief early 
spread fear in the ranks of the whites, which was 
seen and felt by the mulattoes everywhere. 

In military science, horsemanship, and activity. 
Bigaud was the first man on the Island, of any color, 
Toussaint bears the following testimony to the great 
skill of the mulatto general: "I know Bigaud well. 
He leaps from his horse when at full gallop, and he 
puts all his force in his arm when he strikes a blow." 
He was boundless in resources as he was brave and 
daring. High-tempered and irritable, he at times 
appeared haughty. The charmed power that he 
held over the men of his color can scarcely be de- 
scribed. At the breaking out of the revolution, he 
headed the mulattoes in his native town, and soon 
drew around him a formidable body of men. Eigaud's 
legion was considered to be by far the best drilled 
and most reliable in battle of all the troops raised 
on the Island. 

The mulattoes were now urging their claims to 



citizenship and political enfranchisement, by arming 
themselves in defence of their rights ; the activity and 
talent of their great leader, Rigaud, had been the 
guidance and support of their enterprise. He was 
hated by the whites in the same degree as they feared 
his influence with his race. 

The unyielding nature of his character, which gave 
firmness and consistency to his policy while control- 
ing the interest of his brethren, made him dear to 

Intrigue and craftiness could avail nothing against 
the designs of one who was ever upon the watch, and 
who had the means of counteracting all secret attempts 
against him ; and open force in the field could not be 
successful in destroying a chieftain whose power was 
often felt, but whose person was seldom seen. 

Thus to accomplish a design which had long been 
in contemplation, the whites of Aux Cayes were now 
secretly preparing a mine for Rigaud, — which, though 
it was covered with flowers, and to be sprung by the 
hand of professed friendship, — it was thought would 
prove a sure and efficacious method of ridding them of 
such an opponent, and destroying the pretensions of 
the mulattoes forever. 

It was proposed that the anniversary of the destruc- 
tion of the Bastile should be celebrated in the town 
by both whites and mulattoes, in union arid gratitude. 
A civic procession marched to the church, where the 
Te Deum was chanted and an oration pronounced by 
citizen Delpech. The Place d'Armes was crowded 
with tables of refreshments, at which both whites and 
mulattoes seated themselves. But beneath this seem- 

15 I THE RISING son. 

ing patriotism and friendship a dark and fatal con- 
spiracj lurked, plotting treachery and death. 

It had been resolved that at a preconcerted signal 
every white at the table should plunge his knife 
into the bosom of the mulatto who was seated near- 
est to him. Cannon had been planted around the 
place of festivity, that no fugitive from the massacre 
should have the means el' escaping; and that Rigaud 
should not fail to be secured as the first victim to 
a conspiracy prepared especially against his life, the 
commander-in-chief of the national guard had been 

placed at his side, and his murder of the mulatto 
chieftain was to he the signal for a general onset upon 
all his followers. 

But between the conception and the accomplish- 
ment of a guilty deed, man's native abhorrence of 
crime often interposes many obstacles to success. The 
officer to whom had been entrusted the assassination of 
Rigaud, found it no small matter to screw his courage 
up to the s ticking-place, and the expected signal which 
he was to display in blood to his associates, was so 
long delayed that secret messengers began to come to 
him from all parts of the table, demanding why exe- 
cution was not done on Rigaud. Urged on by these 
successive appeals, the white general at last applied 
himself to the fatal task which had been allotted him. 
But instead of silently plunging his dagger into the 
bosom of the mulatto chief, he sprang upon him with 
a pistol in his hand, and with a loud execration, fired 
it at his intended victim. But Rigaud remained un- 
harmed, aud in the scuffle which ensued the white 
assassin was disarmed aud put to flight. 

The astonishment of the mulattoes soon gave way 


to tumult and indignation, and this produced a drawn 
battle, in which both whites and mulattoes, exasper- 
ated as they were to the utmost, fought man to man. 

The struggle continued fiercely, until the whites 
were driven from the town, having lost one hundred 
and fifty of their number, and slain many of their 
opponents. Tidings of this conspiracy flew rapidly in 
all directions ; and such was the indignation of the mul- 
attoes at this attack on their chief, whose death had 
even been announced in several places as certain, that 
they seized upon all the whites within their reach, and 
their immediate massacre was only prevented by the 
arrival of intelligence that Rigaud was still alive.* 

The hostile claims of Toussaint and Rigaud, who 
shared between them the whole power of the Island, 
soon brought on a bloody struggle between the blacks 
and mulattoes. 

The contest was an unequal one, for the blacks 
numbered five hundred thousand, while the mulattoes 
were only thirty thousand. The mulattoes, alarmed 
by the prospect that the future government of the Island 
was likely to be engrossed altogether by the blacks, 
thronged from all parts of the Island to join the ranks 
of Rigaud. As a people, the mulattoes were endowed 
with greater intelligence ; they were more enterprising, 
and in all respects their physical superiority was more 
decided than their rivals, the blacks. 

They were equally ferocious, and confident as they 
were in their superior powers, they saw without a 
thought of discouragement or fear the enormous dis- 
parity of ten to one in the respective numbers of 
their adversaries and themselves. Rigaud began the 

* Brown's History of Sant. Domingo, Vol. I., p. 257. 


war by surprising Leogane, where a multitude of 

persons of every rank and color wore put to death 
without mercy. 
Toussaint, on Learning this, hastened together all the 

troops which he then had in the neighborhood of Port 
an Prince, and ordered all the nudattoes to assemble 
at the church of that town, where lie mounted the 
pulpit, and announced to them his intended departure 
to war against their brethren, lie s.iid, "1 sec into 

the ree(>sscs of your bosoms; you are ready to rise 
against me; hut though my troops are about to Leave 

this province, you cannot succeed, for I shall leave 
behind me both my eyes and my arm- ; the one to watch, 
and the other to reach you." At the (dose of this ad- 
monition, threatening as it was, the mulattoes were 
permitted to leave the church, and they retired, awe- 
struck and trembling with solicitude, to their homes. 

The forces of Rigaud, fighting under the eyes of 
the chief whom they adored, defended with vigor the 
passes leading to their territory; and though they were 
but a handful, in comparison with the hordes who 
marched under the banners of Toussaint, their brave 
exertions were generally crowned with success. 

The mulattoes under Rigaud, more skilled in the 
combinations of military movements, made up for their 
deficiency in numbers by greater rapidity and effect- 
iveness in their operations. A series of masterly 
manoeuvres and diversions were followed up in quick 
succession, which kept the black army in full employ- 
ment. But Toussaint was too strong, and he com- 
pletely broke up the hopes of the mulattoes in a 
succession of victories, which gave him entire control 
of the Island, except, perhaps, a small portion of the 


South, which still held out. Rigaud, reduced in his 
means of defence, had the misfortune to see his towns 
fall one after another into the power of Toussaint, until 
he was driven to the last citadel of his strength — the 
town of Aux Cayes. As he thus yielded foot by foot, 
everything was given to desolation before it was 
abandoned, and the genius of Toussaint was completely 
at fault in his efforts to force the mulatto general 
from his last entrenchments. 

He was foiled at every attempt, and his enemy stood 
immovably at bay, notwithstanding the active assaults 
and overwhelming numbers of his forces. 

The government of France was too much engaged at 
home with her own revolution, to pay any attention to 
St. Domingo. The republicans in Paris, after getting 
rid of their enemies, turned upon each other. The 
revolution, like Saturn, devoured its own children; 
priest and people were murdered upon the thresholds 
of justice. Marat died at the hands of Charlotte Cor- 
day; Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette were guillo- 
tined, Robespierre had gone to the scaffold, and 
Bonaparte was master of France. 

The conqueror of Egypt now turned his attention to 
St. Domingo. It was too important an island to be lost 
to France, or be destroyed by civil war; and through 
the mediation of Bonaparte, the war between Toussaint 
and Eigaud was brought to a close. 

With the termination of this struggle, every vestige 
of slavery, and all obstacles to freedom, disappeared. 
Toussaint exerted every nerve to make Hayti what it 
had formerly been. He did everything in his power to 
promote agriculture ; and in this he succeeded beyond 
the most sanguine expectations of the friends of free- 


dom, both in England and France. Even the planters 
who had remained on the Island acknowledged the 
prosperity of Hayti under the governorship of the man 
whose best days had been spent in slavery. 

The peace of Amiens left Bonaparte without a rival 
on the continent, and with a large and experienced 
army which he feared to keep idle; and he determined 
to send a part of it to St. Domingo. 

The army for the expedition to St. Domingo was 
fitted out, and no pains or expense spared to make it 
an imposing one. Fifty-six ships of war, with twenty- 
five thousand men, left France for Hayti. It was, 
indeed, the most valiant fleet that had ever sailed from 
the French dominions. The Alps, the Nile, the Rhine, 
and all Italy had resounded with the exploits of the 
men who were now leaving their country for the 
purpose of placing the chains again on the limbs of the 
heroic people of St. Domingo. There were men in 
that army that had followed Bonaparte from the siege 
of Toulon to the battle under the shades of the pyra- 
mids of Egypt, — men who had grown gray in the camp. 
Among them were several colored men, who had distin- 
guished themselves on the field of battle. 

There was Bigaud, the bravest of the mulatto chiefs, 
whose valor had disputed the laurels with Touissant. 
There, too, was Petion, the most accomplished scholar 
of whom St. Domingo could boast; and lastly, there 
was Boyer, who was destined at a future day to be 
President of the Republic of Hayti. These last three 
brave men had become dupes and tools of Bonaparte, 
.and were now on their way to assist in reducing the 
land of their birth to slavery. 



Le Clerc, the brother-in-law of Bonaparte, the man 
who had married the voluptuous Pauline, was com- 
mander-in-chief of the army. Le Clerc was not himself 
a man of much distinction in military affairs ; his close 
relationship with the ruler of France was all that he 
had to recommend him to the army of invasion. But 
he had with him Rochambeau, and other generals, who 
had few superiors in arms. Before arriving at Hayti 
the fleet separated, so as to attack the island on differ- 
ent sides. 

News of the intended invasion reached St. Domingo 
some days before the squadron had sailed from Brest ; 
and therefore the blacks had time to prepare to meet 
their enemies. Toussaint had concentrated his forces at 
such points as he expected would be first attacked. 
Christophe was sent to defend Cape City, and Port au 
Prince was left in the hands of Dessalines. 

Le Clerc, with the largest part of the squadron, came 
to anchor off Cape City, and summoned the place to 
surrender. The reply which he received from 
Christophe was such as to teach the captain-general 



what he had to expect in the subjugation of St. Do- 
mingo. "Go tell your general that the French shall 
march here only over ashes; and that the ground shall 
burn beneath their feet," was the answer that Le Clerc 
obtained in return to his command. The French sren- 
eral sent another messenger to Christophe, urging him 
to surrender, and promising the black chief a commis- 
sion of high rank in the French army. But he found 
he had a man, and not a slave, to deal with. The 
exasperated Christophe sent back the heroic reply, 
"The decision of arms can admit yon only into a city 
in ashes; and even on these ashes will I fight still.*' 
The black chief then distributed torches to his princi- 
pal officers, and awaited the approach of the French. 

With no navy, and but little means of defence, the 
Haytians determined to destroy their towns rather than 
they should fall into the hands of the enemy. Late in 
the evening the French ships were seen to change their 
position, and Christophe, satisfied that they were about 
to effect a landing, set fire to his own house, which was 
the signal for the burning of the town. The French 
general wept as he beheld the ocean of flames rising 
from the tops of the houses in the finest city in St. 

Another part of the fleet landed in Sam ana, where 
Toussaint, with an experienced wing of the army, 
was ready to meet them. On seeing the ships enter 
the harbor, the heroic chief said: "Here come the 
enslavers of our race. All France is coming to St. 
Domingo, to try again to put the fetters upon our limbs ; 
but not France with all her troops of the Rhine, the 
Alps, the Nile, the Tiber, nor all Europe to help her, 
can extinguish the soul of Africa. That soul, when 


once the soul of a man, and no longer that of a slave, 
can overthrow the pyramids, and the Alps themselves, 
sooner than again be crushed down into slavery." The 
French, however, effected a landing, but they found 
nothing but smouldering ruins where once stood splen- 
did cities. Toussaint and his generals at once aban- 
doned the towns, and betook themselves to the mount- 
ains, those citadels of freedom in St. Domingo, where 
the blacks have always proved too much for the whites. 

Toussaint put forth a proclamation to the colored 
people, in which he said: "You are now to meet and 
fight enemies who have neither faith, law, nor religion. 
Let us resolve that these French troops shall never 
leave our shores alive." The war commenced, and the 
blacks were victorious in nearly all the battles. Where 
the French gained a victory, they put their prisoners 
to the most excruciating tortures; in many instances 
burning them in pits, and throwing them into boiling 
chaldrons. This example of cruelty set by the whites, 
was followed by the blacks. Then it was that Dessa- 
lines, the ferocious chief, satisfied his long pent-up re- 
venge against the white planters and French soldiers 
that he made prisoners. The French general saw 
that he could gain nothing from the blacks on the field 
of battle, and he determined upon a stratagem, in 
which he succeeded too well. 

A correspondence was opened with Toussaint in 
which the captain-general promised to acknowledge 
the liberty of the blacks, and the equality of all, if 
he would yield. Overcome by the persuasions of his 
generals, and the blacks who surrounded him, and 
who were sick and tired of the shedding of blood, Tons- 


saint gave in his adhesion to the French authorities. 
This was the great error of his life. 

The loss that the French army had sustained during 
the war, was great. Fifteen thousand of their best 
troops, and some of their bravest generals, had fallen 
before the arms of these Negroes, whom they despised. 

Soon after Toussaint gave in his adhesion, the yellow 
fever broke out in the French army, and carried off 
nearly all of the remaining great men, — more than 
seven hundred medical men, besides twenty-two thou- 
sand sailors and soldiers. AmoiH these were fifteen 
hundred officers. It was at this time that Toussaint 
mi^ht have renewed the war with great success. But 
he was a man of his word, and would not take the 
advantage of the sad condition of the French army. 

Although peace reigned, Le Clerc was still afraid of 
Toussaint; and by the advice of Napoleon, the black 
general was arrested, together with his family, and 
sent to France. 

The great chief of St. Domingo had scarcely been 
conveyed on board the ship Creole, and she out of the 
harbor, ere Rigaud, the mulatto general who had 
accompanied Le Clerc to St. Domingo, was arrested, 
put in chains, and sent to France. 

The seizure of Toussaint and Rigaud caused sus- 
picion and alarm among both blacks and mulattoes, 
and that induced them to raise again the flag of in- 
surrection, in which the two proscribed classes were 

Twentj^ thousand fresh troops arrived from France, 
but they were not destined to see Le Clerc, for the 
yellow fever had taken him off. In the mountains 
were many barbarous and wild blacks, who had es- 


caped from slavery soon after being brought from the 
coast of Africa. One of these bands of savages were 
commanded by Lamour de Ranee, an adroit, stern, 
savage man, half naked, with epaulettes tied to his 
bare shoulders for his only token of authority. This 
man had been brought from the coast of Africa, and 
sold as a slave in Port au Prince. On being ordered 
one day to saddle his master's horse, he did so; then 
mounted the animal, fled to the mountains, and ever 
after made these fearful regions his home. Lamour 
passed from mountain to mountain with something of 
the ease of the birds of his own native land. Toussaint, 
Christophe, and Dessalines, had each in their turn pur- 
sued him, but in vain. His mode of fighting was in 
keeping with his dress. This savage, united with 
others like himself, became complete master of the 
wilds of St. Domingo. They came forth from their 
mountain homes, and made war on the whites wherever 
they found them. Le Clerc was now dead, and Roch- 
ambeau, who succeeded him in the government of St. 
Domingo, sent to Cuba to get bloodhounds, with which 
to hunt down the blacks in the mountains. 

In personal appearance, Rochambeau was short and 
stout, with a deformed body, but of robust constitu- 
tion; his manner was hard and severe, though he had 
a propensity to voluptuousness. He lacked neither 
ability nor experience in war. In his youth, he had, 
under the eyes of his illustrious father, served the cause 
of freedom in the United States ; and while on duty in 
the slave portion of our government, formed a low idea 
of the blacks, which followed him even to St. Do- 

The planters therefore hailed with joy Rocham- 


beau as a successor to Le Clerc; and when the blood- 
hounds which he had sent to Cuba for arrived, can- 
non were fired, and demonstrations of joy were shown 
in various ways. 

Even the women, wives of the planters, went to the 
sea-side, met the animals, and put garlands about their 
necks, and some kissed and caressed the dogs. 


Such was the degradation of human nature. While 
the white women were cheering on the French, who 

had imported bloodhounds as their auxiliaries, the 
black women were using- all their powers of persuasion 
to rouse the blacks to the combat. Many of these 
women walked from camp to camp, and from battalion 
to battalion, exhibiting their naked bodies, showing 
their lacerated and scourged persons; — these were the 
marks of slavery, made many years before, but now 
used for the cause of human freedom. 

Christophe, who had taken command of the insur- 
gents, now gave unmistakable proofs that he was a 
great general, and scarcely second to Touissant. 
Twenty thousand fresh troops arrived from France to 
the aid of Eoehambeau ; yet the blacks were victorious 
wherever they fought. The French blindly thought 
that cruelty to the blacks would induce their submis- 
sion, and to this end they bent all their energies. An 
amphitheatre was erected, and two hundred dogs, 
sharpened by extreme hunger, put there, and black 
prisoners thrown in. The raging animals disputed 
with each other for the limbs of their victims, until 
the ground was dyed with human blood. 

Three hundred brave blacks were put to death in 
this horrible manner. The blacks, having spread their 

* Beard's Life of Toussaint L' Ouverture. 


forces in every quarter of the island, were fast retak- 
ing the forts and towns. Christophe commanded in 
the north, Dessalines in the west, and Clervaux in the 

Despotism and sensuality have often been compan- 
ions. In Rochambeau, the one sharpened the appetite 
for the other, as though greediness of bodily pleasure 
welcomed the zest arising from the sight of bodily 

No small part of his time Rochainbeau passed at 
table, or on sofas, with the Creole females, worshippers 
of pleasure, as well as most cruel towards their slaves. 
To satisfy these fascinating courtesans, scaffolds were 
raised in the cities, which were bathed in the blood of 
the blacks. They even executed women and children, 
whose only crime was, that they had brothers, fathers, 
or husbands aiuong the revolters. These brutal mur- 
ders by the French filled the blacks with terror. Des- 
salines started for the Cape, for the purpose of meet- 
ing Rochambeau, and avenging the death of the blacks. 
In his impetuous and terrible march, he surrounded 
and made prisoners a body of Frenchmen; and with 
branches of trees, that ferocious chief raised, under 
the eyes of Rochambeau, five hundred gibbets, on 
which he hanged as many prisoners. 

The numerous executions which began at the Cape 
soon extended to other places. Port au Prince had its 
salt waters made bloody, and scaffolds were erected 
and loaded, within and without the walls. The hand 
of tyranny spread terror and death over the shores of 
the north and the west. As the insurrection became 
more daring, it was thought that the punishments had 
not beeu either numerous enough, violent enough, or 


various enough. The colonists counselled and encour- 
aged more vengeance. Children, women, and old men 
were confined in sacks, and thrown into the sea; this 
was the punishment of parricides among the Romans, 
.ten centuries before; and now resorted to by these 
haters of liberty. 

Rochambeau put five hundred blaeks, prisoners 
whom he had taken in battle, to death in one day. 
Twenty of Toussaint's old officers were chained to the 
rocks and starved to death. 

But the blacks were gradually getting possession of 
the strongholds in tiie islands. 

"To arms I to arms! 1 ' was the cry all over the 
Island, until every one who could use even the lightest 
instrument of death, w T as under arms. 

Dessalines, Belair, and Lamartiniere, defeated the 
French general at Verettes; in no place was the 
slaughter so terrible as there. At a mere nod of Des- 
salines, men who had been slaves, and who dreaded 
the new servitude with which they were threatened, 
massacred seven hundred of the whites that Dessalines 
had amongst his prisoners. 

The child died in the arms of its sick and terri- 
fied mother; the father was unable to save the 
daughter, the daughter unable to save the father. 
Mulattoes took the lives of their white fathers, to 
whom they had been slaves, or whom, allowing them 
to go free, had disowned them; thus revenging them- 
selves for the mixture of their blood. So frightful 
was this slaughter, that the banks of the Artibonite 
were strewn with dead bodies, and the waters dyed 
with the blood of the slain. Not a grave was dug, 
for Dessalines had prohibited interment, in order that 


the eyes of the French might see his vengeance even 
in the repulsive remains of carnage. 

The united enthusiasm and bravery of the blacks 
and mulattoes was too much fo* the French. Sur- 
rounded on all sides, Rochambeau saw his troops 
dying for the want of food. For many weeks they 
lived on horse flesh, and were even driven to subsist 
on the dogs that they had imported from Cuba. 

Reduced to the last extremity by starvation, the 
French general sued for peace, and promised that he 
would immediately leave the Island ; it was ac- 
cepted by the blacks, and Rochambeau prepared 
to return to France. The French embarked in 
their vessels of war, and the standard of the blacks 
once more waved over Cape City, the capital of St. 
Domingo. As the French sailed from the Island, they 
saw the tops of the mountains lighted up; — it was 
not a blaze kindled for war, but for freedom. Every 
heart beat for liberty, and every voice shouted for joy. 
From the ocean to the mountains, and from town to 
town, the cry was "Freedom! Freedom! " Thus ended 
Napoleon's expedition to St. Domingo. In less than 
two years the French lost more than fifty thousand 
persons. After the retirement of the whites, the men 
of color put forth a Declaration of Independence, in 
which they said: "We have sworn to show no rnerc^ 
to those who may dare to speak to us of slavery." 



While the cause of independence, forced at length 
on the aspirations of the natives of Ilayti, was advanc- 
ing with rapid strides, amid all the tumult of armies, 
and all the confusion of despotic cruelties, Toussaint 
L'Ouverture pined away in the dark, damp, cold prison 
of Joux. 

This castle stands on the brink of the river Daubs; 
on the land side, the road of Besancon, leading into 
Switzerland, gives the stronghold the command of 
the communications between that country and France. 
This dungeon built by the Romans, has in it a room 
fifteen feet square, with a stone floor, the same of 
which the entire castle is constructed. One small 
window, high up on the side, looking out on the snows 
of Switzerland, is the only aperture that gives light 
to the dismal spot. In winter, ice covers the floor; 
in summer, it is deep with water. In this living 
tomb, Toussaint was placed, and left to die. 

All communication was forbidden him with the 
outer world. He received no news of his wife and 
family. He wrote to Bonaparte, demanding a trial, 



but received no reply. His fare was limited to a 
sum not sufficient to give him the comforts of life. 
His servant was taken away, and food reduced to a 
still smaller quantity; and thus the once ruler of 
St. Domingo, the man to whom in the darkest day of 
the insurrection the white planters looked for safety, 
knowing well his humanity, was little by little 
brought to the verge of starvation. 

Toussaint's wife and children had been arrested, 
sent to France, separated from him, and he knew 
nothing of their whereabouts. He wrote to Napoleon 
in behalf of them. The document contained these words : 

" General Le Clerc employed towards me means 
which have never been employed towards the greatest 
enemies. Doubtless I owe that contempt to my color; 
but has that color prevented me from serving my coun- 
try with zeal and fidelity ? Does the color of my body 
injure my honor or my courage? Suppose I was a 
criminal, and that the general-in-chief had orders to 
arrest me; was it needful to employ carabineers to 
arrest my wife and children; to tear them from their 
residence without respect, and without charity ? Was it 
necessary to fire on my plantations, and on my family, 
or to ransack and pillage my property? No ! My wife, 
my children, my household, were under no responsi- 
bility; have no account to render to government. 
General Le Clerc had not even the right to arrest them. 
Was that officer afraid of a rival ? 

"I compare him to the Roman Senate, that pursued 
Hannibal even into his retirement. I request that he 
and I may appear before a tribunal, and that the govern- 
ment bring forward the whole of my correspondence 


with him. By that means, my innocence, and all I have 
done for the republic, will be seen." 

Toussaint was not even aware of Le Clcrc's death. 
Finding that the humanity of Colomier, the governor 
of the castle, would not allow the prisoner to starve 
fast enough, Napoleon ordered the keeper to a dis- 
tance; and on his return, Toussaint was dead. 

Thus in the beginning of April, in the year 1803, died 
Toussaint L'Ouverture, a grandson of an African king. 
He passed the greater number of his days in slavery, 
and rose to be a soldier, a general, a governor, and to- 
day lives in the hearts of the people of his native isle. 
Endowed by nature with high qualities of mind, he 
owed his elevation to his own energies and his devotion 
to the welfare and freedom of his race. His habits 
were thoughtful, and, like most men of energetic 
temperaments, he crowded much into what he said. 

So profound and original were his opinions, that 
they have been successively drawn" upon by all the 
chiefs of St. Domingo since his era, and still without 
loss of adaptation to the circumstances of the country. 
His thoughts were copious and full of vigor; and what 
he could express well in his native patois, he found 
tame and unsatisfactory in the French language, which 
he was obliged to employ in the details of his official 

He would never sign what he did not fully understand, 
obliging two or three secretaries to re-word the doc- 
ument, until they had succeeded in furnishing the 
particular phrase expressive of his meaning. While at 
the height of his power, and when all around him were 
furnished with every comfort, and his officers living 


in splendor, Toussaint himself lived with an austere 
sobriety, which bordered on abstemiousness. 

Clad in a common dress, with a red Madras hand- 
kerchief tied around his head, he would move amongst 
the people as though he were a laborer. On such 
occasions he would often take a musket, throw it 
up into the air, aud catching it, kiss it; again hold 
it up, and exclaim to the gazing multitude, "Behold 
your deliverer; in this lies your liberty! ' : Tous- 
saint was entirely master of his own appetites and 

It was his custom to set off in his carriage with the 
professed object of going to some particular point of 
the Island, and when he had passed over several miles 
of the journey, to quit the carriage, which continued 
its route under the same escort of guards, while Tous- 
saint mounted on horseback, and followed by his 
officers, made rapid excursions across the country 
to places where he was least expected. It was upon 
one of these occasions that he owed his life to his 
singular mode of travelling. He had just left his car- 
riage when an ambuscade of mulattoes, concealed in 
the thickets of Boucassin, fired upon the guard; 
several balls pierced the carriage, and one of them 
killed an old servant, who occupied the seat of his 

No person knew better than he the art of governing 
the people under his jurisdiction. The greater part of 
the blacks loved him to idolatry. Veneration for 
Toussaint was not confined to the boundaries of St. 
Domingo ; it ran through Europe ; and in France his 
name was frequently pronounced in the senate with the 
eulogy of polished eloquence. No one can look back 


upon his career without feeling that Toussaint was a 
remarkable man. Without being bred to the science 
of arms, he became a valiant soldier, and baffled the 
skill of the most experienced generals that had fol- 
lowed Napoleon. Without military knowledge, he 
fought like one born in the camp. 

Without means, he carried on a war successfully. 
He beat his enemies in battle, and turned their weapons 
against them. He possessed splendid traits of 
genius, which were developed in the private circle, in 
the council chamber, and upon the field of battle. His 
very name became a tower of strength to his friends 
and a terror to his foes. 



Rochambeau, with the remnant of his defeated 
army, had scarcely retired from St. Domingo before 
the news of the death of Toussaint reached the Island. 
The announcement of this, together with the fact that 
their great general had died by starvation, assured the 
natives of the essential goodness of their cause, and 
the genuine vigor of their strength. They had meas- 
ured swords with the whites, and were conscious of 
their own superiority. Slavery in St. Domingo was 
dead, and dead forever. The common enemy was 
gone, and the victory had been gained by the union 
of the blacks and mulattoes, and these put forth a 
Declaration of Rights, in which they said: "The inde- 
pendence of St. Domingo is proclaimed. • Restored to 
our primitive dignity, we have secured our rights; 
we swear never to cede them to any power in the 
world. The frightful veil of prejudice is torn in pieces; 
let it remain so forever. Woe to him who may wish to 
collect the blood-stained tatters. We have sworn to 
show no mercy to those who may dare to speak to us 
of slavery." This document was signed by Dessalines, 



Christ ophc, and Clervaux, the three chiefs who had 
conducted the war after the capture of Touissant. 

The first of these were black, and represented that 
class of his race who held sentiments of the most ex- 
treme hatred to the whites. The second was also black, 
but of a feeling more inclined to moderation. The 
third represented the mulattoes, although he had none 
of the prejudice against the blacks, so prevalent in 
those days. Clervaux w r as a brave man, and had 
fought under Toussaint before the landing of Lc Clerc 
and Rochambeau. 

By the daring manifested on the field of battle, his 
fierce and sanguinary look, his thirst for blood, Des- 
salincs had become the leader of the blacks in the war 
for liberty; and now that victory was perched upon 
their banners, and the civil government of the Island 
was to fall into their hands, he set his associates 
aside, and took the State into his own charge. Jean 
Jacques Dessaliues was appointed governor-general for 
life. He was not only a life officer, but he had the 
power to establish laws, to declare war, to makepeace, 
and even to appoint his successor. 

Having by a show of mildness gained the advantage 
which he sought, — the acquisition of power, — Dessa- 
lines, a few weeks after his appointment as governor 
for life, threw aside the mask, and raised the cry of 
"Hayti for the Haytians," thinking by proscribing 
foreigners, he should most effectually consolidate his 
own authority. 

From that moment the career of this ferocious man 
was stained with innocent blood, and with crimes that 
find no parallel, unless in the dark deeds of Eocham- 
beau, whom he seemed anxious to imitate. The blacks, 


maddened by the recollection of slavery, and crimes 
perpetrated under its influence ; maddened by the oft- 
repeated stories of murders committed by the French, 
and the presence of many of their old masters still on 
the Island, and whose bloody deeds Dessalines con- 
tinually kept before them in his proclamations, were 
easily led into the worst of crimes by this man. 

On the 8th of October, 1804, Dessalines was pro- 
claimed Emperor of Hay ti, with the title of Jean Jacques 
the First. A census taken in 1805 showed the popu- 
lation of that part of the Island ruled by Dessalines, to 
be only four hundred thousand. 

The title of majesty was conferred on the new Empe- 
ror, as well as on his august consort, the empress; 
their persons were declared inviolable, and the crown 
elective; but the Emperor had the right to nominate 
his successor among a chosen number of candidates. 
The sons of the sovereign were to pass through all the 
ranks of the army. 

Every emperor who should attach to himself a privi- 
leged body, under the name of guard of honor, or any 
other designation, was, by the fact, to be regarded as at 
war with the nation, and should be driven from the 
throne, which then was to be occupied by one of the 
councillors of state, chosen by the majority of the mem- 
bers of that body. 

The emperor had the right to make, and approve 
and publish the laws; to make peace and war; to con- 
clude treaties; to distribute the armed force at his 
pleasure ; he also possessed the exclusive prerogative of 
pardon. The generals of brigade and of division were to 
form part of the council of state. Besides a secretary 
of state, there was to be a minister of finances, and a 


minister of war. All persons were encouraged to set- 
tle their differences by arbitration. 

No dominant religion was admitted; the liberty of 
worship was proclaimed; the State was not to take on 
itself the support of any religious institution. Mar- 
riage was declared a purely civil act, and in some cases 
divorce was permitted. State offences were to be tried 
by a council to be named by the Emperor. All prop- 
erty belonging to white Frenchmen was confiscated to 
the State. The houses of the citizens were pronounced 

The Constitution was placed under the safeguard of 
the magistrates, of fathers, of mothers, of citizens, of 
soldiers, and recommended to their descendants, to all 
the friends of liberty, to the philanthropists of all coun- 
tries, as a striking token of the goodness of God, who, 
in the order of his immortal decrees, had given the Hay- 
tians power to break their bonds, and make themselves 
a free, civilized, and independent people. This Con- 
stitution, which, considering its origin, contains so 
much that is excellent, and which even the long civil- 
ized States of Europe might advantageously study, was 
accepted by the emperor, and ordered to be forthwith 
carried into execution. 

The condition of the farm-laborer was the same as 
under the system of ToussaintL'Ouverture; he labored 
for wages which were fixed at one-fourth of the produce, 
and that produce was abundant. The whip and all 
corporal punishments were abolished. 

Idleness was regarded as a crime, but was punished 
only by imprisonment. Two-thirds of the labor ex- 
tracted under slavery was the amount required under 
the new system. Thus the laborers gained a diminu- 


tion of one-third of their toil, while their wants were 
amply supplied. The mulattoes, or quaterons, children 
of whites and mulattoes, who were very numerous, if 
they could show any relationship, whether legitimate or 
not, with the old white proprietors, were allowed to in- 
herit their property. 

Education was not neglected in the midst of these 
outward and material arrangements. In nearly all the 
districts, schools were established; and the people, see- 
ing what advantage was to be derived from learning, 
entered them, and plied themselves vigorously to gain 
in freedom what they had lost in slavery. 

A praiseworthy effort was made by the framers of the 
constitution, under which Dessalines was inaugurated 
emperor, to extinguish all distinctions of color among 
the colored people themselves. 

They decreed that the people should be denominated 
blacks; but such distinctions are far stronger than words 
on paper. Unfortunately, the distinctions in question, 
which was deeply rooted, and rested on prejudices and 
antipathies which will never be erased from human 
nature, had been aggravated by long and sanguinary 
contests between the blacks and mulattoes. 

Aware of that individual superiority which springs 
from a share in the influences of civilization, the mu- 
lattoes of Hayti despised the uneducated black laborers 
by whom they were surrounded, and felt that by sub- 
mitting to their sway, they put themselves under the 
domination of a majority whose sole authority lay 
exclusively in their numbers. The mulattoes really 
believed that their natural position was to fill the 
places in the government once held by the whites. 

They would no doubt have forgotten their party 


interests, .unci labored for the diffusion through the 
great body of the people of the higher influence of 
civilization, if they could have secured those posi- 

The mutual hatred between the mulattoea and the 
blacks was so deeply rooted, that neither party could 
see anything good in the other; and therefore, what- 
ever was put forth by one party, no matter how meri- 
torious in itself, was regarded with suspicion by the 

The regular army of Dessalines was composed of 
fifteen thousand men, in which there was included a 
corps of fifteen hundred cavalry. They were a motley 
assemblage of ragged blacks, kept in the ranks, and 
performing their limited routine of duty through the 
awe inspired among them by the rigid severity of the 
imperial discipline. The uniform of the troops had 
not been changed when the Island was erected into 
an independent power, and the red and blue of the 
French army still continued to distinguish the soldiers 
of the Haytian army, even when the French were ex- 
ecrated as a race of mousters, with whom the blacks of 
St. Domingo should have nothing in common. To- 
gether with the regular army of the empire, there 
existed a numerous corps of national guard, composed 
of all who were capable of bearing arms; though the 
services of these were not required but in some dan- 
gerous emergency of the State. The national guard 
and regular army were called into the field four times 
every year; and during these seasons of military move- 
ment, the government of Dessalines was over a nation 
of soldiers in arms, as they remained in their encamp- 
ment for some days, to be instructed in military 


knowledge, and to be reviewed by the great officers of 
the empire. 

Dessalines now put forth a proclamation filled with 
accusations against the white French still on the 

This ferocious manifesto was intended as a prelimi- 
nary measure in the train of horrible events to follow. 
In the month of February, 1805, orders were issued 
for the pursuit and arrest of all those Frenchmen who 
had been accused of being accomplices in the execu- 
tions ordered by Rochambeau. 

Dessalines pretended that more than sixty thousand 
of his compatriots had been drowned, suffocated, hung, 
or shot in these massacres. "We adopt this measure," 
said he, "to teach the nations of the world that, not- 
withstanding the protection which we grant to those 
who are loyal towards us, nothing shall prevent us from 
punishing the murderers who have taken pleasure in 
bathing their hands in the blood of the sons of Hayti." 

These instigations were not long in producing their 
appropriate consequences among a population for so 
many years trained to cruelty, and that hated the 
French in their absence in the same degree that they 
feared them when present. On the 28th of April it 
was ordered by proclamation that all the French resi- 
dents in the Island should be put to death ; and this in- 
human command of Dessalines was eagerly obeyed by 
his followers, particularly by the mulattoes, who had to 
manifest a flaming zeal for their new sovereign, in or- 
der to save themselves from falling victims to his san- 
guinary vengeance. Acting under the. dread surveil- 
lance of Dessalines, all the black chiefs were forced 
to show themselves equally cruel ; and if any French 


were saved from death, it was due to the mercy of the 
inferior blacks, who dared not to avoid their generos- 
ity. Dessalines made a progress through all the towns 
where there were any French citizens remaining, and 
while his soldiers were murdering the unfortunate vic- 
tims of his 'ferocity, the monster gloated with secret 
complacency over the scene of carnage, like some malig- 
nant fiend glorying in the pangs of misery suffered 
by those who had fallen a sacrifice to his wickedness. 

The massacre was executed with an attention to or 
der, which proves how minutely it had been prepared. 
All proper precautions were taken, that no other 
whites than the French should be included in the pro- 
scription. In the town of Cape Francois, where the 
massacre took place, on the night of the 20th of April, 
the precaution was first taken of sending detach- 
ments of soldiers to the houses of the American and 
English merchants, with strict orders to permit no per- 
son, not even the black generals, to enter them, without 
the permission of the master of the house, who had been 
previously informed of all that was about to happen. 
This command was obeyed so punctually, that one of 
these privileged individuals had the good fortune to 
preserve the lives of a number of Frenchmen whom he 
had concealed in his house, and who remained in their 
asylum until the guilty tragedy was over. 

The priests, surgeons, and some necessary artisans 
were preserved from destruction, consisting in all, of 
one-tenth of the French residents. All the rest were 
massacred without regard to age or sex. The personal 
security enjoyed by the foreign whites was no safe- 
guard to the horror inspired in them by the scenes of 
misery which were being enacted without. At every 


moment of the night, the noise was heard of axes, which 
were employed to burst open the doors of the neigh- 
boring houses; of piercing cries, followed by a death- 
like silence, soon, however, to be changed to a renewal 
of the same sounds of grief and terror, as the soldiers 
proceeded from house to house. 

When this night of horror and massacre was over, 
the treacherous cruelty of Dessalines was not yet ap- 
peased. An imperial proclamation was issued in the 
morning, alleging that the blacks were sufficiently 
avenged upon the French, and inviting all who had 
escaped the assassination of the previous night to 
make their appearance upon the Place d'Armes of the 
town, ill order to receive certificates of protection; 
and it was declared to them that in doing this they 
might count upon perfect safety to themselves. 

Many hundreds of the French had been forewarned 
of the massacre, and by timely concealment had suc- 
ceeded in preserving their lives. Completely circum- 
vented by the fiendish cunning of Dessalines, this lit- 
tle remnant of survivors came out of their places of 
concealment, and formed themselves in a body upon 
the Place d'Armes. But at the moment when they 
were anxiously expecting their promised certificates 
of safety, the order was given for their execution. 
The stream of water which flowed through the town 
of Cape Francois was fairly tinged with their blood.* 

Many of the great chiefs in the black army were 
struck with horror and disgust at this fiendish cruelty 
of their emperor. Christophe was shocked at the atroc- 
ity of the measure, though he dared not display any 
open opposition to the will of the monarch. Dessalines 



had no troublesome sensibilities of soul to harass his 
repose for a transaction almost without a parallel in 
history. He sought not to share the infamy of the 
action with the subordinate chiefs of his army, but 
without a pang of remorse he claimed to himself the 
whole honor of the measure. 

In another proclamation, given to the world within 
a few days after the massacre, he boasts of having 
shown more than ordinary firmness, and affects to put 
his system of policy in opposition to the lenity of 
Touissant, whom he accuses, if not of want of patriot- 
ism, at least of want of firmness in his public conduct. 
Dessalines was prompted to the share he took in this 
transaction by an inborn ferociousness of character; 
but a spirit of personal vengeance doubtless had its 
effect upon the subordinate agents in the massacre. 
They hated the Frencl^for the cruelties of Rochambeau. 

Although the complete evacuation of the Island by 
the forces of the French, and the ceaseless employment 
of the armies of Napoleon in the wars of Europe, had 
left the blacks of St. Domingo in the full possession 
of that Island, Dessalines lived in continual dread that 
the first moment of leisure would be seized by the 
conqueror of Europe to attempt the subjugation of his 
new empire. The black chief even alleged in excuse 
for the massacre which he had just accomplished, that 
the French residents in the Island had been eugaged in 
machinations against the dominion of the blacks, and 
that several French frigates then lying at St. Jago de 
Cuba had committed hostilities upon the coast, and 
seemed threatening a descent upon this land. 

Influenced by this perpetual solicitude, Dessalines 
now turned his attention to measures of defence, in 


case the French should again undertake the reduction 
of the country. It was ordered that at the first 
appearance of a foreign army ready to land upon the 
shores of the Island, all the towns upon the coast 
should be burnt to the ground, and the whole popula- 
tion be driven to the fastnesses of the interior. 

He also built fortifications in the mountains as 
places of refuge in the event of foreign invasion. 
Always violent and sanguinary, when there remained 
no whites upon whom to employ his ferocity, his cru- 
elty was lavished upon his own subjects. For the 
slightest causes, both blacks and mulattoes were put to 
death without mercv and without the forms of trial. 
The sight of blood awakened within him his desire of 
slaughter, and his government became at length a 
fearful despotism, against the devouring vengeance of 
which none, not even those of his own household, was 
safe. The generals Clervaux, Greffard, and Gabart 
died suddenly and mysteriously; and the aggressions of 
Dessalines, directed particularly against the mulattoes, 
soon awakened the vengeance of that jealous class, 
who were already displeased at their insignificance in 
the State, and at the exaltation of the black dynasty 
which seemed about to become permanent in the 
country. A secret conspiracy was accordingly planned 
against the black monarch, and when, on the 17th of 
October, 1806, he commenced a journey from St. 
Marks to Port au Prince, the occasion was improved 
to destroy him. A party of mulattoes lying in ambus- 
cade at a place cailed Pont Rouge, made an attack 
upon him, and he was killed at the first fire. 

Thus closed the career of Dessalines, a man who 
had commenced life as a slave, and ended as an em- 


peror; a man whose untiring energy, headlong brav- 
ery, unsurpassed audacity, and native genius made 
him to be feared by both blacks and whites, and 
whose misdeeds have furnished to the moralists more 
room for criticism than any other man whose life was 
passed in the West Indies. 

Yet this "monster/' with all his faults, did much 
for the redemption of his race from slavery. Had 
Dessalines been in the position of Toussaint, he would 
never have been captured and transported to Europe. 
Pie who reads the history of the St. Domingo strug- 
gle without prejudice, and will carefully examine the 
condition of parties, see the efforts made by the 
expatriated planters to regain possession of the Island, 
and view impartially the cruel and exterminating war 
upon the blacks, as carried on by Le Clcrc and Ro- 
chambeau, cannnot feel like throwing the mantle of 
charity over some of the acts of Jean Jacques Dessa- 
lines. After the death of the emperor, the victorious 
mulattoes followed up their success by attacking the 
partisans of Dessalines, and four days were expended 
in destroying them. Upon the 21st there appeared a 
proclamation, portraying the crimes of the fallen 
emperor, and announcing that the country had been 
delivered of a tyrant. A provisional government was 
then constituted, to continue until time could be af- 
forded for the formation of a new constitution, and 
General Christophe was proclaimed the provisional 
head of the State. 



The ambitious and haughty mulattoes had long been 
dissatisfied with the obscure condition into which they 
had been thrown by the reign of Dessalines; and at 
the death of that ruler, they determined to put for- 
ward their claim. Therefore, while Christophe was 
absent from the capital, the mulattoes called a con- 
vention, framed a constitution, organized a republic, 
and elected for their president, Alexandre Petion. 

This man was a quadroon, the successor of Bigaud 
and Clervaux to the confidence of the mulattoes. He 
had been educated at the military school at Paris ; was 
of refined manners, and had ever been characterized 
for his mildness of temper and the insinuating grace of 
his address. He was a skilful engineer, and at the 
time of his elevation to power he passed for the most 
scientific officer and the most erudite individual among 
the people of Hayti. Attached to the fortunes of 
Eigaud, Petion had acted as his lieutenant in the war 
against Touissant, and had accompanied that chief to 
Prance. Here he remained until the departure of the 
expedition under Le Clerc, when he embarked in that 



disastrous enterprise, to employ his talents in restor- 
ing his country to the dominion of France. Petion 
joined Dessalines, Christophe, and Clcrvaux when 
they revolted and turned against the French, and aided 
in gaining the final independence of the Island. He 
was commanding a battalion of mulattoes, under the 
government of Dessalines, at the close of the empire. 

Christophe, therefore, as soon as he heard that he 
had a rival in Petion, rallied his forces, and started for 
Port tiu Prince, to meet his enemy, and obtain by 
conquest what had been refused him by right of 
succession; and, as he thought, of merit. Petion was 
already in the field; the two armies met, and a battle 
was fought. 

In this contest, the impetuosity of Christophers attack 
was more than a match for the skill and science of 
Petion; and the new president was defeated in his first 
enterprise against the enemy of his government. The 
ranks of Petion were soon thrown into irretrievable 
confusion, and in a few minutes they were driven from 
the field — Petion himself being hotly pursued in his 
flight, finding it necessary, in order for the preserva- 
tion of his life, to exchange his decorations for the 
garb of a farmer, whom he encountered on his way, 
and to bury himself up to the neck in a marsh until 
his fierce pursuers had disappeared. 

After this signal success, Christophe pressed forward 
to Port au Prince, and laid siege to that town, in the 
hope of an easy triumph over his rival. But Petion 
was now in his appropriate sphere of action, and 
Christophe discovered that in contending against an 
experienced engineer in a fortified town, success was 
of more difficult attainment than while encountering 


the same enemy in the open field, where his science 
could not be brought into action. Christophe could 
make no impression on the town; and feeling ill as- 
sured of the steadfastness of his own proper govern- 
ment at Cape Francois, he withdrew his forces from 
the investment of Port au Prince, resolved to estab- 
lish in the North a separate government of his own, 
and to defer to some more favorable opportunity the 
attempt to subdue his rival at Port au Prince. 

Thus placing themselves in hostile array against each 
other, the two chiefs of Hayti employed themselves in 
strengthening and establishing their respective govern- 
ments, and in attempts to gain over the different parts 
of the Island to an acknowledgment of their authority. 
Christophe assumed the title of President of the State, 
and Petion, of the Republic; and the inhabitants of 
the country conferred their allegiance according to the 
opinions of their chiefs, or the places of their resi- 

The successes of Christophe in his late campaign 
against his rival at Port au Prince, had encouraged 
him with the hope of obtaining a complete conquest 
over him when he had strengthened and confirmed 
his power over the blacks of the North. The greater 
part of this province had already declared for him, 
and refused to acknowledge the new president at 
Port au Prince, who had been taken from among the 
mulattoes of the South. In this state of public feel- 
ing, Christophe proceeded to issue a series of proc- 
lamations and addresses to the people and the army, 
encouraging them to hope for a better era about to 
arise under his auspices, in which the evils of foreign 
invasion and the disaster of intestine disturbance were 


to cease, and the wounds of the country to be healed 
by the restoration of peace and tranquillity. He 
manifested a desire to encourage the prosperity of 
commerce and agriculture; and by thus fostering in- 
dividual enterprise, to ensure the happiness of the 
people under his rule. To support the credit of his 
government among the commercial nations abioad, he 
dispatched a manifesto to each of them, With a design 
to remove the distrust which had begun to be enter- 
tained in the mercantile world of the now governments 
of Hayti. 

It was announced in these dispatches that the store- 
houses and magazines of the Island were crowded and 
overflowing with the rich productions of the Antilles, 
awaiting the arrival of foreign vessels to exchange for 
them the produce and fabrics of other lands; that the 
vexatious regulations and ignorant prohibitions of his 
predecessor no longer existed to interfere with the com- 
mercial prosperity of the Island; and that protection 
and encouragement would be granted to commercial 
factors from abroad, who should come to reside in the 
ports of the country. 

Christophc felt that his assumption of power was but 
a usurpation, and that so long as his government re- 
mained in operation without the formal sanction of 
the people, his rival at Port au Prince possessed im- 
mense advantages over him, inasmuch as he had been 
made the constituted head of the country by an observ- 
ance of the forms of the constitution. To remedy this 
palpable defect, which weakened his authority, he re- 
solved to frame another constitution, which would con- 
firm him in the power he had usurped, and furnish 
him with a legal excuse for maintaining his present 


attitude. In accordance with this policy he con- 
voked another assembly at Cape Francois, composed 
of the generals of his army and the principal citizens 
of that province, and after a short session these sub- 
servient legislators terminated their labors by giving 
to the world another constitution of the country, dated 
upon the 17th of February, 1807. This new enactment 
declared all persons residing upon the territory 
of Hayti, free citizens, and that the government was 
to be administered by a supreme magistrate, who was to 
take the title of President of the State, and General- 
in-Chief of the land and the naval forces. 

The office was not hereditary, but the president 
had the right to choose his successor from among the 
generals of the army; and associated with him in the 
government there was to exist a Council of State, 
consisting of nine members, selected by the President 
from among the principal military chiefs. This, like 
the constitution, which conferred power upon Dessa- 
lines, made Christophe an autocrat, though he was 
nominally but the mere chief magistrate of a republic. 

The rival government of Port au Prince differed 
from that of Christophe, by its possessing more of the 
forms of a republic. With a president who held his 
power for life, and who could not directly appoint his 
successor, there was associated a legislative body, con- 
sisting of a chamber of representatives chosen di- 
rectly by the people, and a senate appointed by the 
popular branch of the government, to sustain or con- 
trol the president in the exercise of his authority. 

Hostilities between Christophe and Petion were car- 
ried on for a long time, which led to little less than 
the enfeeblement of both parties. The black chief, 


however, established his power on solid foundations 
in the North, while Petion succeeded in retaining a 
firm position in the South. Thus Was the Island once 
more unhappily divided between two authorities, each 
of which watched its opportunity for the overthrow 
of the other. 

The struggle between the two presidents of Hayti 
had now continued three years, when a new competi- 
tor started up, by the arrival of Eigaud from France. 
He had passed by way of the United States, and ar- 
rived at Aux Cayes on the 7th' of April, 1810. This 
was an unexpected event, which awakened deep solici- 
tude in the bosom of Petion, who could not avoid 
regarding that distinguished mulatto as a more for- 
midable rival than Christophc. He feared his superior 
talents, and dreaded the ascendency he held over the 
mulatto population. Rigaud was welcomed by his 
old adherents with enthusiastic demonstrations of at- 
tachment and respect; and after enjoying for a few 
days the hospitalities that were so emulously offered to 
him, he proceeded on his way to Port au Prince. 
Though Petion could not feel at his ease while such 
a rival was journeying in a species of triumph 
through the country, he dared not, at least in his 
present condition, to make an open manifestation of 
his displeasure, or employ force against one who had 
such devoted partisans at his command. He deter- 
mined, therefore, to mask his jealous feelings, and wear 
an exterior of complaisance, until he could discover 
the designs of Rigaud. The latter was received gra- 
ciously by the President, whose suspicions were all 
effectually lulled by the harmless deportment of the 
great mulatto chieftain; and he was even invested 


by Petion with the government of the South. This 
was to place an idol in the very temple of its wor- 
shippers, for Rigaud returned to Aux Cayes to draw 
all hearts to himself. No one in that province now 
cast a thought upon Petion ; and within a short period 
Rigaud was in full possession of his ancient power. 
Petion, affrighted at his situation, surrounded as he 
was by two such rivals as Rigaud and Christophe, 
began an open rupture with the former before he had 
fully ascertained whether he could sustain himself 
against the hostilities of the latter. Some of the 
mulattoes, who, with a spirit of patriotism or clanship 
foresaw the triumphs which would be offered to the 
blacks by civil dissensions among themselves, pro- 
posed a compromise between Rigaud and Petion; but 
this was rejected by the latter, who began to make 
preparations to invade Rigaud' s province. 

Resolved to profit by this division, Christophe 
marched against Petion, but the common danger 
brought about a union, and Christophe judged it pru- 
dent to retire. 

When Petion had been left at peace, by the temporary 
retirement of Christophe from the war against him, 
all his former jealousy was awakened within him 
against Rigaud. The treaty of Miragoane had been 
wrung from him by the hard necessities of his situa- 
tion, which were such as to force him to choose be- 
tween yielding himself a prey to the warlike ambition 
of Christophe, or complying with the urgent demands 
pressed upon him by the political importance of 
Rigaud. A compact thus brought about by the stern 
compulsion of an impending danger, and not yielded 
as a voluntary sacrifice for the preservation of peace, 


was not likely to remain unviolated when the necessity 
of the moment had passed away and was forgotten. 
Thus, as has been observed, when Christophe, engaged 
as he was in renovating the structure of his govern- 
ment, had ceased from his hostilities against Petion, 
the latter became immediately infested with all his 
former dislike of lligaud. Intrigues were commenced 
against him, to shake the fidelity of his followers, 
and to turn the hearts of the Southern blacks against 
the mulatto who had been placed over them as their 

Emissaries were employed in all parts of that prov- 
ince, reminding the people of the obligations which 
they owed to the constituted authorities of the Republic 
at Port au Prince, and conjuring them to remember 
that the preservation of the country against the designs 
of France could only be assured by the unanimous sup- 
port given to the chief of the Republic, who alone could 
perpetuate the institutions of the country, and main- 
tain its independence against its foreign enemies. 

An armistice concluded between Petion and the 
Maroon chief, Gomar, furnished an opportunity to the 
former to arm this formidable brigand against the 
government of the South. Gomar' s followers, eager 
for new scenes of plunder, commenced their depreda- 
tions in the plain of Aux Cayes, and the plantations 
in that quarter were soon subjected to the same rav- 
ages as had fallen to the lot of those of Grand 
Anse. While Rigaud was involved in a perplexing 
war with these banditti, and had already discovered 
that the allegiance of his own followers at Aux Caves 
was wavering and insecure, he was dismayed at the 
intelligence that Petion had already invaded his ter- 


ritoiy at the head of an army. Thus were the mulat- 
toes committing suicide upon their political hopes, if 
not upon their very existence, by a mad strife in the 
cause of their respective chiefs, when their formidable 
enemy in the North was concentrating his power, and 
watching a favorable moment to pour destruction 
upon both. 

Rigaud hastened to collect his forces, in order to 
defend his territory against this invasion of Petion; 
and the latter, having already passed the moun- 
tains of La Hotte, was met by his antagonist in the 
plain of Aux Cayes. A furious battle immediately 
took place; and after a gallant resistance, Rigaud's 
troops had already begun to give ground before the 
overpowering numbers and successive charges of the 
enemy, when a strong reinforcement of troops under 
the command of General Borgella, coming in from 
Aquin, turned the tide of battle in favor of Rigaud, and 
Petion was defeated in his turn, and his army almost 
annihilated in the rout which followed.* 

The joy of this signal victory over his opponent, 
which had driven him from the southern territory, did 
not efface the bitter recollections which had fastened 
themselves upon the sensitive mind of Rigaud. In 
that province, where he had once been all-powerful, 
and Petion a subservient instrument of his will, he 
saw that his former glory had so far departed that he 
could not trust the fidelity of his own personal attend- 
ants, while his former lieutenant was now his tri- 
umphant rival. The applauses and sworn devotedness 
with which the multitude had once followed in the 
march of his power had now with proverbial fickleness, 

13 * Lacroix. 


been exchanged for the coldness of indifference, or an 
open alliance with his foes. 

In this desolate state of his fortunes, Rigaud had lost 
his wonted energies; and instead of following up his 
late success, and arming himself for the last desper- 
ate effort to crush his insinuating but unwarlike op- 
ponent, he returned to Aux Cayes, to new solicitudes 
and new experience of the faithlessness of that mob 
whose whirlwind-march he had once guided by a sin- 
gle word. Petion's partisans had now gained over to 
their opinions a formidable propoition of the people 
of Aux Cayes, and Rigaud had scarcely entered his 
capital when a multitude of blacks and mulattoes were 
gathered in the streets opposite the government house. 

Their cries of vengeance upon Rigaud, and their 
menacing preparations, struck a panic into the little 
body of followers, who, faithful among the faithless, 
still adhered with unshaken constancy to the declining 
fortunes of their once glorious chief. His friends be- 
sought Rigaud not to attempt the hazardous experi- 
ment of showing himself in the gallery to persuade 
the mob to disperse. But not suspecting that the 
last remnant of his once mighty influence had de- 
parted from him, Rigaud persevered in his design, 
and advancing to the gallery of the house, he demanded 
in a mild voice of the leaders of the multitude what they 
intended by a movement so threatening, when he re- 
ceived in answer a volley of musketry aimed at his 

But he remained unharmed, though he returned 
into the house heart-sick and desperate. A furious 
onset was immediately commenced from without, and 
this was answered by a vigilant and deadly defence 


from Eigaud 's followers within, The contest contin- 
ued through the night, but the mob were defeated in 
every attempt which they made to obtain a lodgment 
within the walls of the edifice, and no decisive suc- 
cess could be obtained to disperse them. Eigaud, now 
convinced that the witchery of his power existed no 
longer, made a formal abdication of his authority, 
and nominated General Borgella as his successor in 
the command of the South. Rigaud, worn with 
chagrin and humiliation, retired to his plantation, 
Laborde, where he died within a few days after, a 
victim to the faithlessness of the multitude. 

Thus ended the life of Andre Eigaud, the ablest 
scholar and most accomplished military man of any 
color which the St. Domingo revolution had pro- 
duced. The death of Eigaud had the effect of 
uniting the mulatto generals, Borgella and Boyer 
under Petion, and against Christophe; the latter, 
however, succeeded in maintaining his authority in 
the North, and still looked forward to a time when 
he should be able to govern the whole Island. 

Christophe, like Dessalines, had been made a toon- 
arch by the constitution which formed a basis to his 
power; but he had at first only assumed to himself 
the modest title of President. This moderation in 
his ambition arose from the desire to supplant Petion 
in his government, and become the supreme head of 
the whole country without any rival or associate. For 
this purpose it was necessary to surround his power 
with republican forms; to make it attractive in the 
estimation of the better class of blacks and mulat- 
toes, with whom republican notions happened to be 
in vogue. 


But the prospect of superseding Petiou in his 
authority had become less clear with every succeed- 
ing attempt, of Christophe against him; and after 
years of untiring hostility, it was evident that Petiou 
was more firmly enthroned in the hearts of his people 
than at the commencement of his administration, and 
that no solid and durable advantages had been gained 
over him in the field. Christophe was thus led to 
change his policy; and, instead of seeking to assimi- 
late the nature of the two governments, in order to 
supplant his rival in the affections of his countrymen, 
he now resolved to make his government the very con- 
trast of the other, and leave it to the people of his 
country to decide which of the two forms of power 
was the best adapted to the nature and genius of the 
population over which they maintained their sway. 

The one was a republic in direct contact with the peo- 
ple, and governed by a plain engineer officer, who, 
though clothed with the sovereignty of the state, 
"bore his faculties so meekly" that he mixed freely 
with his fellow-citizens, but as a man in high repute 
for his intelligence and his virtues. 

Christophe determined that the other should be a 
monarchy, surrounded by all the insignia of supreme 
power, and sustained by an hereditary nobility, who, 
holding their civil and military privileges from the 
crown, would be props to the throne, and maintain 
industry and order among the subjects of the govern- 
ment. The Republic was a government of the mulat- 
toes, and had been placed under the rule of a mulatto 
president. The monarchy was to be essentially 
and throughout, a dominion of the pure blacks, be- 
tween whom and the mulattoes it was alleged there 


was such diversity of interest and personal feeling 
that no common sympathy could exist between them. 

In pursuance of this Dew policy, Christophe's 
Council of State was convoked, and commenced its 
labors to modify the constitution of February, 1807, in 
order to make it conformable to the new ambition of 
Christophe. With this council there had been associ- 
ated the principal generals of the army and several 
private citizens, who were sufficiently in the favor of 
Christophe to be ranked among those willing to do him 
honor. The labors of this council were brief, and upon 
the 20th of March, 1811, the session was closed by the 
adoption of a new form of government. The imperial 
constitution of 1805 was modified to form an hereditary 
monarchy in the North, and to place the crown of Hayti 
upon Christophe, under the title of Henry the First. 

In their announcement to the world of this new or- 
ganization of the government, the Council declared that 
the constitution which had been framed in the year 
1807, imperfect as it was, had been adapted to the cir- 
cumstances of the country at that epoch, but that the 
favorable moment had arrived to perfect their work, 
and establish a permanent form of government, suited 
to the nature and condition of the people over which it 
was to bear rule. 

They added that the majority of the nation felt with 
them the necessity of establishing an hereditary mon- 
archy in the country, inasmuch as a government 
administered by a single individual was, less than any 
other, subject to the chances of revolntion, as it pos- 
sessed within itself a higher power to maintain the 
laws, to protect the rights of citizens, to preserve 
internal order, and maintain respect abroad: that the 


title of governor-general, which had been- conferred 
upon Toussaint L'Ouverture, was insufficient to the 
dignity of a supreme magistrate; that that of emperor, 
which had been bestowed upon Dcssalines, could not 
in strictness be conferred but upon the sovereign of 
several states united under one government, while that 
of president did not, in fact, carry with it the idea of 
sovereign power at all. In consideration of these 
grave objections to all other terms to designate the su- 
preme head of the state, the council expressed itself 
driven at last to adopt the title of king. The council 
next proceeded by a formal decree to confer the title of 
King of Hayti upon Henri Christophe and his; successors 
in the male line, and to make such changes and mod- 
ifications in the constitution of 1807 as were required by 
the recent alteration in the structure of the govern- 

• On the 4th of April, the Council of State, which, with 
the additions made to their number from among the 
chiefs of the army and the leaders among the popula- 
tion, was pompously styled the Council General, in 
their robes of state, and headed by their president, 
proceeded to the palace of Christophe, to announce 
in formal terms the termination of their labors, which 
had resulted in the formation of a new constitution, 
making the crown of Hayti hereditary in the family 
of the reigning prince. After a speech filled with the 
very essence of adulation, the President of the Council, 
General Romaine, exclaimed in the presence of the sov- 
ereign, "People of Hayti, regard with pride your 
present situation. Cherish no longer any fears for the 
future prosperity of your country, and address your 
gratitude to Heaven; for while there exists a Henry 


upon the throne, a Sully will ever be found to direct 
the march of your happiness." 

On the day following, the new constitution was pro- 
claimed by official announcement throughout the king- 
dom, and Christophe entered upon the exercise of the 
kingly powers which had been conferred upon him. 
The first act of his reign was the promulgation of a royal 
edict, creating an hereditary nobility, as a natural sup- 
port to his government, and an institution to give eclat 
and permanence to his sovereignty. These dignitaries 
of the kingdom were taken mostly from among the 
chiefs of the army, and consisted of two princes, not 
of the royal blood, of seven dukes, twenty-two counts, 
thirty-five barons, and fourteen chevaliers. 

Of priority in rank among the princes of the king- 
dom, were those of the royal blood, consisting of the 
two sons of Christophe, the eldest of whom, as heir 
apparent, received the title of Prince Eoyal. 

Having finished these creations of his new mon- 
archy, and received the two royal crowns of Hayti, 
Christophe appointed the 2d of June, 1811, as the 
day for his coronation. All the chiefs of the army 
and other grandees of the realm had orders to repair 
to the capital , and among them there appeared a dep- 
utation from the blacks of the Spanish territory, who 
had assumed to themselves the pompous appellations of 
Don Raphael de Villars, chief commandant of San- 
tiago; Don Raymond de Villa, commandant of Vega; 
Don Vincent de Luna, and Don Jose Thabanes, who 
at least represented the Spanish Creoles by the 
grandiloquence of their names. An immense pavil- 
ion had been erected upon the Place d'Armes of 
Cape Henry, furnished with a throne, galleries for 


the great ladies of the court, chapels, oratories, an 
orchestra, and all the arrangements necessary for the 
august ceremony. This was performed in due state- 
liness by the new archbishop of Hayti, the capuchin 
Brelle, who consecrated Christophe King of Hayti, un- 
der the title of Henry the First. 




Christophe, now enthroned as the sovereign of the 
North, seized upon the leisure which was afforded him 
after perfecting the internal details of his new gov- 
ernment, to attempt a peaceable union of the blacks 
of the South with those who were already the loyal 
subjects of what he considered the legitimate author- 
ity of the Island. For this purpose a large deputa- 
tion was dispatched from his capital, to proceed into 
the territory of the republic as the envoys of the 
black king, who proposed the union of the whole pop- 
ulation in one undivided government, secured under 
the form of an hereditary monarchy, both from the 
revolutions and weakness of one, the structure of which 
was more popular. These emissaries, sent to declare 
the clemency and peaceful intentions of the monarch 
of the North, were taken from among the prisoners 
who had fallen into the power of Christophe by the 
capitulation of the Mole St. Nicholas, and who had 
been adopted into the royal army, and made the 
sharers of the royal bounty of the black king. To 



assist in this new measure, a proclamation was issued 
from the palace at Cape Henry on the 4th of September, 
1811, addressed to the inhabitants of the South, who 
were no longer called the enemies of the royal govern- 
ment, but erring children, misled by the designing; and 
they were implored to return to their allegiance to 
the paternal government of that chief who had just 
been constituted the hereditary prince of the blacks. 
"A new era," said this royal document, "has now 
dawned upon the destinies of Hayti. 

"New grades, new employments, new dignities; in 
fine, an order of hereditary nobility are hereafter to 
be the rewards of those who devote themselves to the 
State. You can participate in all these advantages. 
Come, then, to join the ranks of those who have placed 
themselves under the banners of the royal authority, 
which has no other design than the happiness and glory 
of the country." 

This policy of Christophe was to employ the weap- 
ons of Petion against himself. But the republican 
chieftain was in better play with the foils than his more 
unsophisticated rival of the monarchy, and Christophe 
soon discovered that while he was attacking the gov- 
ernment of Petion by appeals to the blacks, who were 
to be dazzled with his royal goodness, the arts of his 
rival were employed in the very heart of his domin- 
ions, and had already insinuated the poison of rebel- 
lion among his most trusted subjects. His infant navy 
had hardly been launched and manned with the objects 
of his clemency and royal favor, when a detachment 
of the squadron, consisting of the Princess Royal and 
several brigs of war, abjured his authority, and raised 
the standard of the republic. This defection was 


punished by an ^English frigate under Sir James Lucas 
Yeo,* who captured the rebellious squadron, and re- 
stored the agents to Christophe's vengeance. 

Indignant at these attempts of the mulatto govern- 
ment to divert the affections of his subjects from their 
sworn allegiance to his throne, Christophe resolved on 
immediate war and the employment of the sword against 
that race whose pride and hatred made them the ene- 
mies of the pure blacks. Conscious of his military 
superiority, he resolved to make his preparations for 
the intended enterprise such as to ensure success over 
his opponent, and all the disposable forces of his army 
were gathered together for an invasion of the territories 
of the Republic. 

The Artibonite was soon crossed, and Peti oil's 
forces, under the command of General Boyer, were 
met and defeated in the gorges of the mountains of 
St. Marks; and the way thus laid open for an imme- 
diate advance on Port au Prince. 

The siege of this place was the object of the expedi- 
tion, and Christophe pressed forward once more to try 
the fortune of war against his hated enemy. So 
sudden was the invasion, that Petion was taken totally 
unprepared — a considerable portion of his army being 
absent from the capital, employed in watching the 
movements of General Borgella in the south. 

In this state of weakness the town might have been 
surprised, and fallen an easy prey to the invading 
army, but Christophe had not calculated upon such a 
speedy result, and though his vanguard had seized 
upon a post a little to the north of the town, while the 
inhabitants in their exposed condition were panic- 

* Lacroix. 


struck at the certain prospect of being captured imme- 
diately, the arrival of the main body of Christophe's 
army being delayed twenty-four hours, time was thus 
afforded to Petion to rally and concentrate his means 
of defence, so as to be prepared for an effectual resist- 
ance. Christophe's whole force came up the next day, 
and Petion' s capital was nearly surrounded by a for- 
midable train of artillery, and an army of twenty 
thousand men. 

In this gigantic attempt of their old adversary, the 
mulattoes felt with terror that defeat and conquest 
would not be to them a simple change of government, 
but would involve in its tremendous consequences the 
total extermination of their race. In so hazardous a 
situation, they were taught to reflect upon the madness 
of their ambition, which, by sowing dissensions among 
themselves, had exposed them, weak and unarmed, to 
the whole power of their natural enemy. In so fearful 
a crisis, the resolution was at last taken to repair 
their former error, and thus avert the disastprs which 
now overhung them by an attenuated thread. Ne- 
gotiations were hastily commenced with General 
Borgella, who, sympathizing with his brethren of Port 
au Prince in their perilous situation, consented to 
conditions of peace, and even yielded himself to the 
orders of Petion. The assistance of the army of the 
South was thus secured, and General Borgella at the 
head of his forces marched to the assistance of Petion, 
and succeeded, in spite of the efforts of Christophe, 
in gaining an entrance into the town. 

The operations of the siege had already commenced; 
but the mulattoes, now united, were enabled to 
make a vigorous defence. Christophe's formidable 


train of artillery had been mounted in batteries upon 
the heights above the town, and kept up a slow but 
ceaseless fire upon the works of the garrison within. 

Potion conducted the defence with considerable 
ability, and a succession of vigorous sallies made 
upon the lines of the besieging army without the town, 
taught the latter that they had a formidable adversary 
to overcome before the town would yield itself to their 

Amidst these continued struggles, which daily gave 
employment to the two forces, and had already begun 
to inflame Christophe with the rage of vexation that 
his anticipated success was so likely to be exchanged 
for defeat, Petion had, one day, at the head of a re- 
connoitering party, advanced too far beyond his lines, 
when he was pursued by a squadron of the enemy's 

The President of the Kepublic had been discovered 
by the decorations upon his hat; and the enemy kept 
up a hot pursuit, which hung upon the very footsteps of 
the mulatto commander-in-chief, whose escape in such 
circumstances seemed impossible, when one of his 
officers devoted himself to death to save the life of his 

Exchanging hats with the president, he rode swiftly 
in another direction. The whole party of the enemy 
were thus drawn after him, and he was soon overtaken 
and cut down, while Petion made his escape into the 

The siege of Port au Prince had now continued two 
months, and the obstinacy of its defence had already 
begun to make Christophe despair of final success, 
when an occurrence took place which determined him 


to raise it immediately. Indignant at the tyranny of 
the black king, several chiefs of his army had formed a 
conspiracy to assassinate him during his attendance at 
church. Christophe was always punctual at mass, 
and upon these occasions the church was filled with 
officers in waiting, and surrounded with soldiers. It 
had been arranged to stab him while he was kneeling 
at the altar, and then to proclaim the death of the 
tyrant to the soldiery, whose attachment to their mon- 
arch, it was thought, was not so warm as to render 
such an enterprise hazardous. 

This dangerous undertaking had been prepared in 
such secrecy, that a great number of the officers and 
soldiers of the army had been drawn into the ranks 
of the conspirators, and all things were now in readiness 
for the final blow. In this stage of the transaction, a 
mulatto proved faithless to his associates, and in- 
formed Christophe minutely of all the plans of the 
conspiracy, and of all the agents who had devoted 
themselves to his destruction. 

The monarch, thus possessed of a full knowledge 
of all that had been prepared against him, concealed 
the vengeful feelings that burned within him under 
an appearance of the utmost composure. He feared 
lest a whisper intimating that he had been informed 
of the intentions of the conspirators might snatch them 
from his vengeance by urgiug them to desert to the 
enemy. At the usual hour the troops paraded at the 
church, and Christophe, instead of entering to assist 
at the mass, placed himself at the head of his army, 
and designated by their names the leaders of the con- 
spiracy, who were ordered to march to the centre. 


An order was then given to the troops to fire, and 
the execution was complete. 

A black named Etienne Magny, was one of the 
ablest of Christophe's generals; and though he had 
been secretary to the council of state that had raised 
the latter to the throne of Hayti, he had now become 
so dissatisfied with his work that nothing retained 
him to the standard of his king but the reflection that 
his family, whom he had left at Cape Henry, would be 
required to pay the forfeit of his defection with their 
heads. A body of black soldiers, who were upon the 
point of deserting to the army of Petion, willing to 
give eclat to their defection by taking their com- 
mander with them, surrounded the tent of Magny by 
night, and communicated to him their intention. The 
black general hesitated not to express his willingness to 
accompany them; but he urged that tenderness for his 
family forbade an attempt which would doom them all 
to certain destruction. 

The black soldiers refused to yield to these con- 
siderations, and seizing upon Magny, they bore him 
off undressed, and without his arms, into the town. 
To preserve the lives of Magny' s family, Petion 
treated him as a prisoner of war; and he remained at 
Port au Prince until the death of Christophe, when 
he was made the commander of the North under 

Christophe, discouraged at his defeats, and enraged 
at the sweeping defections which were every day di- 
minishing the numbers of his army, and strengthening 
the resources of his rival, now commenced his retreat 
towards the north, whence intelligence had lately 
reached him of designs in preparation against him 


among his own subjects. The army of the republic, 
under General Boyer, commenced a pursuit. The 
cause of Petion seemed triumphant. Boyer pressed 
closely upon the rear of the royal army, and Christo- 
phe seemed on the point of losing all, when the 
cautious policy of Petion restrained Boyer' s activity, 
and the republicans turned back from the pursuit. 
Christophe had been foiled in his great effort by 
Petion and Borgella, and he now regarded the mulat- 
toes with a hatred so deep and fiendlike, that nothing 
would satisfy the direness of his vengeance but the 
utter extermination of that race. A body of mulatto 
women of the town of Gonaives, who had sympathized 
with their brethren of Port au Prince in the struggle 
which the latter were maintaining against the power of 
Christophe, and with this communion of feeling had 
made prayers to the Virgin against the success of 
their king, became the first victims of the rage of 
Christophe against their race. 

They were marched out of the town, and all sub- 
jected to military execution, without a distinction in 
their punishment or consideration of mercy for their 
sex. Christophe had long ago resolved to rest the 
foundation of his power upon the support of the pure 
blacks, and he now determined to make his adminis- 
tration one of ceaseless hatred and persecution to the 

Through the influence of this policy, he hoped to 
make the number of the blacks prevail over the superior 
intelligence and bravery of the mulattoes. 



Christophe had now discovered the too palpable 
truth, that so far from his possessing the means to 
drive his rival from the government of the South, all 
his cares and precautions were requisite to maintain 
the sovereignty over his own subjects of the North. 
A train of perpetual suspicions kept his jealousy ever 
alive, and vexed by the tortures of eternal solicitude, 
his despotic temper grew by the cruelty which had 
become its aliment. Together with this perpetual 
inquietude for the safety of his power, which made 
the new throne of Hayti a pillow of thorns and 
torture, other considerations had their influence to 
arrest the hostilities between the two chiefs of the 
country. The giant power of Napoleon had now ex- 
tended itself over almost all the thrones of Europe, 
and with such an infinity of means at his disposal, 
it was yearly expected that another armament, pro- 
portioned to the overgrown power of the French 
Emperor, would be sent to crush the insurgents of 
St. Domingo, and restore that island once more to 
the possession of its ancient colonists. 


Influenced by the fears inspired by these forebodings, 
the two governments of Hayti were actuated by a com- 
mon instinct of self-preservation to cease from their 
warfare, and instead of spending their resources in a 
civil strife which threatened to become interminable, to 
employ themselves in giving permanence to their 
existing condition, and prosperity to the country 
under their control. The population, which had been 
employed in the armies of the two powers, had been 
taken from their labors upon the soil, and the ravages 
of war had consumed and destroyed the scanty growth 
of the plantations. 

Amidst this unproductiveness of agriculture, which 
spread the miseries of want and destitution among the 
inhabitants of both governments, the occurrence of a 
maritime war between the United States and England 
entirely cut off the supplies which had been drawn 
from those two countries, and the evil condition of the 
Island was complete. In this sad state of their affairs, 
both Christophe and Petion ceased from all military 
operations against each other, without previous arrange- 
ment or military truce ; and the}' directed all their 
efforts to heal the wounds which had been inflicted by 
hostile depredation or the neglect of peaceful employ- 
ments within their respective territories. 

The tax laid by Christophe upon his subjects ex- 
ceeded in despotism anything of the kind ever before 
known in the Island ; and even surpassed the outrageous 
demands of Dessalines. 

Petion dared nut to tax his subjects to supply the 
wants of his administration; and for this purpose he 
was driven to embarrass commerce by the imposi- 
tion of enormous duties upon the trade carried 01? 


in his ports. But Christophe had assumed a station 
which forebade him to fear his subjects, and he fur- 
nished yearly millions to his treasury by a territorial 
tax, which poured one-fourth of all the productions of 
the kingdom into the royal coffers. Possessed of 
this revenue, which placed his finances beyond the 
contingencies of chance, the commercial regulations 
of Christophe were the very opposites of those en- 
forced within the republic; and the traffic in the ports 
of the kingdom was annually augmented by a compe- 
tition sustained at advantages so immense. 

The army of the monarchy was in all things better 
furnished and more respectable than that of the repub- 
lic. The troops were well clothed and well armed. 
They were kept under a discipline so strict that it 
knew no mercy and permitted no relaxation. The 
smallest delinquency was visited upon the offender 
with unsparing flagellation or with military execu- 
tion. The troops received a merely nominal stipend 
for their services, and each soldier was required to 
gain his subsistence by the cultivation of a few 
acres of ground, which were allotted him out of the 
national domain ; and of this scanty resource a fourth 
was required to be delivered into the hands of the 
king's officers, as a part of the royal revenues. 

Although Christophe had determined to maintain his 
power by the bayonets of the soldiery, he condescended 
to no measures of unusual moderation in his conduct 
toward these supporters of his authority. The soldiers 
of the army, as well as the laborers of the plantations, 
lived in perpetual dread of the rod of authority which 
was ever brandished over their heads; and of the 


merciless inflictions of authority the former obtained a 
more than ordinary share. 

Upon common occasions, Christophe assumed little 
state, showing himself among his subjects but as a 
private individual of superior rank. Like his model, 
George III., it was his habit to walk the streets of the 
capital dressed in plain citizen's costume, and with no 
decorations to designate his rank but a golden star 
upon his breast. In this unostentatious manner he was 
often seen upon the quay, watching the operations at 
the custom-house; or in the town, superintending the 
laborers engaged in the erection of public edifices. His 
never-failing companion upon these occasions was a 
huge cane, which he exercised without mercy upon 
those who were idle in his presence, or whose petty 
offences of any kind called for extemporary flagella- 

Christophe was without education, but like his pred- 
ecessor, Dessalines, he found a royal road to learning. 
His knowledge of books was extensive, as several 
educated mulattoes retained about his person under the 
name of secretaries were employed several hours of each 
day in reading to the monarch. He was particularly 
delighted with history, of which his knowledge was 
extensive and accurate; and Frederick the Great of 
Prussia was a personage with whom, above all others 
he was captivated, the name of Sans Souci, his palace, 
having been borrowed from Potsdam. 

Such sharpness had been communicated to his genius, 
naturally astute, by having knowledge thus dispensed 
to him in daily portions, that Christophe became at 
last a shrewd critic upon the works read before him, 
and even grew fastidious in the selection of his 



authors. The events of that stormy period of Euro- 
pean history, as detailed in the public journals of the 
time, were listened to with a greedy ear, and the 
course of Napoleon's policy was watched with a keen- 
ness which manifested Christophe \s own interest in the 

Christophe, though a pure African, was not a jet 
black, his complexion being rather a dusky brown. 
His person was commanding, slightly corpulent, and 
handsome. His address was cold, polished, and grace- 
ful. He possessed a certain air of native dignity 
which corresponded well with his high official station, 
and he exacted great personal deference from all 
who approached him. The personal qualities and ma- 
jestic bearing of the black king impressed his own 
characteristics upon his court. The most formal cere- 
mony was observed upon public occasions, and no 
grandee of the realm could safely appear at the court of 
his sovereign without the costume and decorations of 
his rank. The ceremonial and observances were mod- 
elled after the drawing-rooms at St. James palace, and 
Christophe was always pleased with the attendance of 
whites, particularly if they were titled Englishmen. 
Many distinguished foreigners visited the court of the 
black monarch, attracted thither by a curiosity to wit- 
ness the spectacle of an African levee, a scene which, 
by established regulation, was held at the palace on the 
Thursday of every week. 

The company was collected in an ante-chamber which 
adjoined the principal hall of the palace, where the 
novices in courtly life were suitably drilled and in- 
structed in the minute details of the parts they were 
expected to play in the coming pageantry, by two or 


three assistants of the grand master of ceremonies, 
the Baron de Sicard. When all things were in readi- 
ness, both within and without, the doors were thrown 
open, and the monarch of Hayti appeared seated upon 
the throne in royal costume, with the crown upon his 
head, and surrounded by a glittering cortege composed 
of his ministers, grand almoner, grand marshal of the 
palace, chamberlains, and heralds at arms. 

Political offences were never left unpunished by 
Christophe, and towards delinquents of this kind he 
never manifested his vengeance by open violence or a 
display of personal indignation. Those who had ex- 
cited his mistrust were upon some occasions even fa- 
vored with a personal visit from the monarch, who stu- 
diously concealed his vengeful purposes under a show of 
kindness, and the utmost graciousness of manner. But 
the arrival of his vengeance was not retarded by this 
display of civility. The agents of Christophe gener- 
ally made their appearance by nigbt, and the sus- 
pected offender was secretly hurried off to the fate 
which awaited him. But though Christophe 's anger 
for offences not of a political character was violent, it 
was seldom bloody. 

Amidst a torrent of philippics against such persons, 
his customary expression, "O! diable," was a signal 
to those in attendance to fall upon the offender and 
Bcourge him with canes; and when the punishment 
had been made sufficient, the justice of the monarch 
was satisfied, and the culprit was restored again to 
his favor. Sometimes, however, his indignation in 
these cases was aroused to the ferocity of a savage 
not to be appeased but by the blood of his victim. 

We must now turn to the affairs of the republic. 


Potion had long been despondent for the permanence 
of the republic, and this feeling had by degrees grown 
into a settled despair, when he discovered that his 
long administration had not succeeded in giving order 
and civilization to the idle and barbarous hordes com- 
posing the dangerous population of his government. 
While the more despotic sway of Christophe main- 
tained the prosperity of his kingdom, Petion found 
that the people of the republic was becoming every 
day a more ungovernable rabble, indolent, dissolute, 
and wretched. While the coffers of Christophe were 
overflowing with millions of treasures wrung by the 
hard exactions of his tyranny from the blacks who 
toiled upon the soil, the finances of the republic were 
already in irretrievable confusion, as the productions 
of that territory were hardly sufficient for the suste- 
nance of its population. 

Amidst these perplexities and embarrassments, Pe- 
tion .fell sick in the month of March, 1818, and after 
a malady which continued but eight days, he perished 
of a mind diseased, declaring to his attendants that 
he was wearv of life. 

The announcement that Petion was no more threw 
all the foreign merchants of the republic into conster- 
nation. They expected that an event like this would 
be the harbinger of another revolution to overturn all 
that had been achieved, or of a long and destructive 
anarchy, which would completely annihilate the little 
authority there yet remained in the republic. Merchan- 
dise to the amount of millions had been sold to the 
credit of the country, in the doubtful hope that its 
government would be durable. Both treasures and 
blood were at stake, but the terror of the moment was 


soon appeased. At the tidings of Petion's illness, the 
Senate had assembled itself in session, and this body 
conferred power upon the expiring president to nomi- 
nate his successor; and Petion, when he foresaw that 
his death was inevitable, designated for this purpose 
General Boyer, then commanding the arrondissement 
of Port au Prince. 

The funeral ceremonies of the deceased president took 
place upon the first of April , and were performed with 
the most august solemnity. All the great officers of the 
army were ordered to their posts, and required to main- 
tain a ceaseless viligance for the perservation of tran- 
quillity. An embargo was laid until the Sunday 
following upon all vessels in the harbor of Port au 
Prince, and several detachments of troops were ordered 
to march towards different points of the frontier. The 
observance of every precaution which the most anxious 
solicitude could suggest for the maintenance of internal 
peace, and the prevention of invasion from abroad, was 
evidence that Petion had bequeathed his power to a 
successor worthy of his choice. 

There was a wide difference between Potion and 
Christophe ; the former was a republican at heart, the 
latter, a tyrant by nature. Assuming no pretensions to 
personal or official dignity, and totally rejecting all the 
ceremonial of a court, it was Petion's ambition to main- 
tain the exterior of a plain republican magistrate. 
Clad in the white linen undress of the country, and 
with a Madras handkerchief tied about his head, he 
mixed freely and promiscuously with his fellow- 
citizens, or seated himself in the piazza of the govern- 
ment house, accessible to all. 

Petion was subtle, cautious, and designing. He 


aspired to be the Washington, as Christophe was 
deemed the Bonaparte, of Hayti. By insinuating the 
doctrines of equality and republicanism, Petion suc- 
ceeded in governing, with but ten thousand mulat- 
toes, a population of more than two hundred thousand 

The administration of Petion was mild, and he did 
all that he could for the elevation of the people whom 
he ruled. He was the patron of education and the arts ; 
and scientific men, for years after his death, spoke his 
name with reverence. He was highly respected by 
the representatives of foreign powers, and strangers 
visiting his republic always mentioned his name in 
connection with the best cultivated and the most gen- 
tlemanly of the people of Hayti. The people of the 
republic, without distinction of color or sect, regarded 
Potion's death as a great national calamity; and this 
feeling extended even into Christophe 's dominion, 
where the republican president had many warm friends 
amongst the blacks as well as the mulattoes. Petion 
was only forty-eight years of age at his death. He 
was a man of medium size, handsome, as were nearly 
all of the men of mixed blood, who took part in the 
Hayti an war. His manners were of the Parisian 
school, and his early military training gave him a car- 
riage of person that added dignity to his general ap- 



Boyer, the new president, was peaceably acknowl- 
edged by the people of the republic as their lawful 
chief, and no other general of the army manifested 
any disposition to establish an adverse claim to the 
vacant dignity. 

Boyer, finding himself tranquilly seated in power, 
and placed beyond any danger from the hostile enter- 
prises of the rival dynasty, devoted himself to the 
encouragement of agriculture and commerce within 
his territory. He made a tour of inspection through 
all the different districts, and in each of them the due 
observance of the laws was enjoined, and the citizens 
were urged to abandon their idle habits, and for the 
good of the State, if not for the promotion of their indi- 
vidual interests, to employ themselves in the develop- 
ment of the great resources of the country. 

Within a few months after his elevation to power, the 
new president formed the resolution to disperse the 
hordes of banditti that infested Grande Anse, and kept 
the whole South in perpetual alarm. Conscious of the 



importance there existed of depriving his great compet- 
itor of a lodgment within the very heart of the repub- 
lic, such as to expose its very capital to the danger of 
an attack both in front and rear, Boyer determined to 
fit out a sufficient force to sweep the mountains of 
LaHotte, and if possible, to capture Gomar within the 
very fastnesses which had been for so many years his 
natural citadel. 

Christophe, on the other hand, determined, if possi- 
ble, to preserve this important point from which 
he could so easily gain an entrance to the territory 
of the republic, made a diversion in favor of the 
Maroons in this movement against them, by assuming 
a hostile attitude upon the northern frontier of the re- 
public. A formidable detachment of the royal army 
was already entering the neutral territory of Boucausin, 
and threatening another attack upon Port au Prince, 
when Boyer found it necessary to defer his intended 
expedition against Gomar, and recall all his forces to 
repel the danger which was threatening in an opposite 
quarter. This was the single result which Christophe 
designed to accomplish by his movement on Port au 
Prince; and when this had been effected, his army re- 
turned to its quarters in the North. 

But Boyer was not to be turned aside from his res- 
olution of rescuing the best districts of his territory 
from continual spoliation, and when the panic had 
subsided which had been inspired by the threatened 
invasion of Christophe, he put his troops in motion in 
the autumn of 1819, for a campaign against the Ma- 
roons of Grande Anse. The troops of the republic 
met, and defeated the brigands. 


Having accomplished the objects of his visit, and 
left peace and tranquillity where those conditions had 
so long been unknown, Boyer commenced his return 
to his capital, gratified that hi.s attainment of power 
had been effected so peaceably, and that the hopes of his 
administration were already based more solidly than 
ever upon the wishes of the people. 

Boyer had now attained complete success in his de- 
sign to shut the boundaries of his states against the 
machinations of Christophe; and until a more favorable 
moment he contented himself to maintain a policy 
strictly defensive against an opponent so warlike. 
The latter, on his side, enraged at the defeat and over- 
throw of his allies of Grande Anse, began to threaten 
another invasion of Boyer' a territory, and many months 
glided away in the daily expectation of the commence- 
ment of hostilities between the two governments. In 
this interval the growing tyranny of Christophe forced a 
flood of emigration from his realms into the territories 
of the republic, and the very household troops of the 
monarch began to desert in large numbers from the ser- 
vice of a sovereign whose cruelty decimated their ranks 
at the instigation of his caprice. Bold, crafty, and sus- 
picious, Christophe with one breath congratulated his 
subjects upon the glorious possession which they held 
of personal liberty and national independence, and with 
another he doomed them to scourgings, imprisonment, 
and death. 

So unlimited and habitual Was his severity, that it 
was said of him that he would put a man to death with 
as little hesitation as a sportsman would bring down an 
article of game. His dungeons were filled with thou- 


sands of victims of all colors, and new detachments of 
prisoners were daily arriving to swell the number. 
The innocent were confounded with the guilty ; for un- 
der the promptings of his hatred or jealousy, the 
despot would not stop to make nice discriminations. 



Christophe, who now might be denominated the 
Caligula of the blacks, was every day adding to the dis- 
content and terror of his subjects. His soldiers were 
treated with extreme severity for every real or fancied 
fault, and they sought for nothing so earnestly as for an 
occasion to abandon his service, and gain an asylum 
within the territories of his rival; or to attempt, what 
they scarcely dared to meditate, the dethronement of a 
tyrant who caused them to pass their lives in wretched- 
ness. Christophe possessed a knowledge of this disaf- 
fection entertained towards him, and instead of seeking 
to assure and perpetuate the allegiance of his army, to 
the bayonets of which he was indebted for his power, 
his vengeance became every day more watchful and 
more terrible, until his conduct exceeded in cruelty 
even that which had already spread hatred and misery 
throughout the nation. Christophe determined to rule 
through the inspirement of fear alone, and he practised 
no arts of conciliation to preserve to his interests those 
^even who were necessary to the maintenance of his 



His despotism was thus carried beyond the limits of 
endurance. So far from seeking to attach his great offi- 
cers to his own person, by lavishing upon them the fa- 
vors of his government, his suspicions had become 
alarmed at the growing wealth of his nobles, in conse- 
quence of the immense incomes drawn by them from the 
estates placed under their control, within the districts 
of which they were the titulary lords. To prevent this 
inordinate increase of wealth among a class of persons 
who, it was thought, might one day employ it against 
the throne and dignity of the sovereign, an institution 
was formed, called the Royal Chamber of Accounts, 
which, by a sort of star-chamber process, appraised the 
estates of the nobility, and disburdened them of so 
much of their wealth as the king deemed a matter of 
superfluity to them. Several of the black nobles had 
already been subjected to the jurisdiction of this 
royal court; and, actuated by secret indignation for 
this arbitrary spoliation of their property, they sought 
only for an opportunity to drive Christophe from his 
power, in the hope to share the same authority among 

In the month of August, 1820, Christophe, while 
attending mass, was attacked with paralysis, and was 
immediately carried to his palace at Sans Souci, where 
he remained an invalid for many months, to the great 
satisfaction of his subjects. 

This event, so favorable to the treacherous designs 
of the discontented chiefs of his government, fur- 
nished an occasion for the formation of a dangerous 
conspiracy, at the head of which were Paul Romaine, 
Prince of Limbe, and General Richard, the governor 
of the royal capital. The conspirators designed to 


put Christophe to death, and after the performance of a 
deed so acceptable to the nation, to form a northern 
republic, similar in its structure to that which existed 
in the South, at the head of which was to be 
placed General Eomaine, with the title of president. 

But before this scheme could be carried out, a divi- 
sion of the royal army, stationed at St. Marks, and 
consisting of a force of six thousand men, exasperated 
at the cruelties practiced upon them, seized upon this 
occasion to revolt. The commanding general was be- 
headed, and a deputation of the mutineers was dis- 
patched to carry the head of the murdered officer to 
the president of the republic at Port au Prince. 

The intelligence of this revolt was carried quickly 
to Christophe 's capital, and it produced an explosion of 
popular feeling that betokened the speedy downfall of 
the black monarchy. The troops of the capital imme- 
diately put themselves under arms, and assumed a 
threatening attitude. On the evening- of the 6th of 
October, the inhabitants of the capital were startled at 
the noise of drums beating to arms. 

The streets were soon filled with soldiers, obeying 
or resisting the authority of their officers, as the latter 
happened to favor or hate the power of the king. The 
governor of the capital, who did not wish for such a 
denouement to his plans, undertook measures to sub- 
due the mutinous spirit of the troops; but though he 
sought for support on every side, he found no readi- 
ness, either on the part of the army or of the people, 
to assist him in his attempt. The tumult increased 
every moment, and spread by degrees to every part 
of the town, until the whole population became united 
in the rebellion. The army took the lead, and the 


whole body of the inhabitants followed the example 
of the soldiers. It was decided by acclamation to 
march upon Sans Souci, and seize upon Christophe 
within his own palace, but this movement was deferred 
until the following day. 

Meantime, Christophe had been informed of these 
proceedings, so ominous to the preservation of his 
power, if not of his life. He had not yet recovered 
from his malady, but his unconquerable energy of soul 
had not been paralyzed by disease, for he leaped im- 
mediately from his bed, demanding that his arms 
should be brought to him, and that his horse should 
be ordered to the door. But if his bold spirit did not 
quail before the calamities which were impending over 
him, his bodily frame proved unequal to the activity 
of his mind, and he was compelled to rest satisfied 
with sending forward his guards to subdue the rebel- 
lious troops of the capital, while he remained within 
his palace to await his destiny. 

Meantime, General Richard, the governor of the 
capital, had put himself at the head of the insurgents, 
the number of whom amounted to ten or twelve thou- 
sand, and the column took up its march directly for 
Sans Souci. On Sunday, the 8th of October, the 
insurgents encountered on their way the detachment 
of body guards which the monarch had dispatched 
against them. 

The two forces quickly arranged themselves in or- 
der of battle, and a brisk fire commenced between 
them. It continued, however, but a few minutes. 
The cry of the insurgents was, "Liberte, liberte," and 
the utterance of this magical word soon became con- 
tagious in the ranks of the royal guards. The latter 


had even less predilection for their monarch than the 
other corps of the arm}', for their situation and rank 
bringing them in nearer contact with the royal person, 
the}' were frequently exposed to the terrific explosions 
of the royal vengeance. 

Thus the watchword of the mutineers was answered 
with redoubled enthusiasm by the household troops, 
and they passed over in a body to join the forces ot 
the insurgents. The whole military power of the 
kingdom was now united in a vast column of muti- 
neers, burning for vengeance upon Christophe, and 
pressing onward to the palace of Sans Souci. 

The king was soon informed that his guards had 
declared against him, and that the forces of the insur- 
gents were already in the immediate vicinity of his 
palace. At this astounding intelligence he exclaimed 
in despair, "Then all is over with me!" and seizing 
a pistol, shot himself through the heart. 

Thus perished a man who had succeeded in main- 
taining his authority over the blacks for a longer time 
than any of the chiefs of the revolution. This he ac- 
complished through the single agency of the extraor- 
dinary energy of his character. The unshrinking 
boldness and decision of his measures made terror the 
safeguard of his throne, until his excessive cruelty 
drove his subjects to a point at which fear is changed 
into desperation. His policy at first was that of Touis- 
sant, but he carried it to an access of rigor which 
made his government a despotism. Like his great 
predecessor, he possessed such intimate knowledge of 
the African character, as enabled him to succeed com- 
pletely in controlling those placed under his sway, 
and, in spite of the national propensities, to make hi& 


plans effectual for developing the resources of the 
country. While the territory was still a neglected 
waste, and its population poor, the lands of Christophe 
were in a condition of high productiveness, and the 
monarch died, leaving millions in the royal treasury. 

But the salutary restraints imposed upon his disor- 
derly subjects at the commencement of his reign, had 
been augmented by degrees to correspond to the 
demands of an evergrowing jealousy, until they had 
become changed to a rigorous severity of discipline, 
or vengeance, such as has been practised in few coun- 
tries upon the globe. The dungeons of the Citadel 
Henry were almost as fatal to human life as the Black 
llole at Calcutta, and it has been asserted, that amidst 
the pestiferous exhalations and suffocative atmosphere 
of these abodes of misery, the prisoners were almost 
sure to perish after a short confinement. With less 
truth it has been alleged, that fifty thousand persons 
lost their lives in these living tombs, while thirty thou- 
sand others perished of fatigue, hunger, and hardship 
of those who had been condemned for offences of a 
lighter nature, to labors upon the public works of the 
kingdom, all of which were performed under the lash 
and bayonet of the soldiery.* 

These estimates are probably beyond the truth, 
though the number is incredible of those who perished 
under the severe exactions of Christophe 's tyranny, 
by hardship, imprisonment, military execution, or the 
infliction of sudden death, executed amidst a burst of 
ferocious vengeance in the despot. Christophe failed 
of giving perpetuity to his government through the 
mere abuse of his power. 

* Malo. 


The king was fifty-three years of age at his death, 
having reigned nine years. With a mind little capa- 
ble of continuous thought, Christophe possessed a* 
strong and obstinate will. When once he had gained 
an elevated position, he manifested great energy of 
character. Anxious to augment by commerce the ma- 
terial strength of his dominions, and to develop its 
moral power by education, he imposed on the eman- 
cipated people a labor not unlike that of the days of 
their servitude. Many hundreds of lives were sacri- 
ficed in erecting the palace of Sans Souci, and grad- 
ing its grounds. The schools put in operation in his 
time, surpassed anything of the kind ever introduced 
in that part of the Island before or since. 



The death of Christophe was hailed with enthusiasm 
and applause, in his own part of the Island, as well 
as in the republic; and on the 15th of October, 1821, 
General Paul Romaine put himself at the head of af- 
fairs, and proclaimed a republic. A deputation was 
at once dispatched to President Boyer, with an offer 
to unite the two governments under him, as their 
head. This was accepted, and in a short time the 
union took place. 

From the time of the evacuation of the Island by the 
French under Rochambeau, Santo Domingo, the Span- 
ish part of the Island, had become a place of refuge 
for the white colonist, and the persecuted mulattoes; 
and during the administration of Dessalines and Chris- 
tophe, Santo Domingo was comparatively quiet, ex- 
cept an occasional visit from the partisans of some of 
the Haytian chiefs. Santo Domingo was a mulatto 
government, and it hailed with joy the union undei 
Boyer, and a scheme was set on foot to carry the 
Spanish part of the Island over to Boyer. Many of 
their best men thought it would be better for the 



whole Island to be governed by one legislature, and 
that its capital should be at Port au Prince. 

The authorities of Santo Domingo were clearly of 
this opinion, for when the new project was laid before 
them, they yielded a ready assent, and a deputation 
immediately set forward in the month of December, 
1821, to convey the wishes of the Spanish blacks to 
the mulatto chief of the French part of the Island. 
Boyer was formally solicited to grant his consent that 
the Spanish part of the Island should be annexed to the 
republic. This was a demand so gratifying to Buyer's 
personal ambition that any reluctance on his part to 
comply with it was clearly impossible. Thus the 
Spanish deputies were received with the utmost gra- 
ciousness, and dismissed with every favor that grati 
fied hope could bestow. 

But a year had elapsed since the rebellion in the 
North had transferred the realms of Christophe as a 
precious godsend to the peaceable possession of Boyer, 
and the army of the republic was now ordered to put 
itself in readiness for a victorious and bloodless march 
to Santo Domingo. Boyer placed himself at its head, 
and a rapid advance was made into the heart of the 
Spanish territory. Not the least resistance was en- 
countered, and the inhabitants of each of the towns 
in succession hastened emulously to testify their adher- 
ence to the cause of the republic, until the invading 
column marched at last in a sort of triumph into the 
city of Santo Domingo. 

The principal authorities, and the people generally, 
made a formal transfer of their allegiance to their 
new rulers, and were permitted to remain in the en- 
joyment of their former privileges. The chief com- 


mand of the lately acquired territory was placed by 
Boyer in the hands of General Borgella, and the pres- 
ident returned to Port au Prince, gratified by the ex- 
traordinary success with which fortune had crowned 
his administration ; which he commenced by governing 
a distant province in the southwestern part of the Is- 
land, and by a succession of unlooked-for incidents, 
he had been placed at the head of the whole country, 
without a competitor to annoy him, or any malcon- 
tents to disturb the internal repose of his government. 
The death of Christophe, and the elevation of Boyer 
to the government of all St. Domingo, were events 
which had in the meantime created a strong sensation 
in the ranks of the old colonists residing in France, 
as well as at the office of the minister for the colo- 
nies. Boyer 's attachment to France was presumed 
to be stronger than that of his predecessor, Petion, 
and under such circumstances, new hope was derived 
from the event of his exaltation to power. It was 
now thought that an occurrence so propitious to the 
claims of France upon her ancient colony would lead 
to a satisfactory adjustment of the difficulty which 
had been interposed against the success of former ne- 
gotiation. The French cabinet immediately formed 
the resolution to sound the new chief of Hayti as to 
his sentiments in regard to an arrangement between 
the two governments. The difficulties in the^way of 
an easy conquest of the country, and the tone of firm- 
ness which had been held both by Christophe and 
Petion to all former demands made upon them by the 
agents of France, had by degrees depressed the hopes 
of the colonists, and diminished the expectations of 
the French government in relation to the claims upon 


St. Domingo. The restoration of the Island to its 
former condition of colonial dependence, and the es- 
tablishment of the ancient planters in the possession 
of their estates and negroes, were no longer regarded 
as events within the bounds of possibility, and the 
demands of France upon the government of Hayti were 
now lowered to the mere claim of an indemnity to the 
colonists for the losses which had reduced them to 

At length, a secret agent of the minister of marine 
held an audience with Boyer, and informed him that the 
French government having in former years made re- 
peated attempts to accomplish an arrangement between 
the two countries, all of which had been fruitless, it was 
desired that Boyer himself would renew the negotia- 
tions in his turn. In consequence of this information, 
Boyer appointed General Boyd as his plenipotentiary, 
who was furnished with instructions authorizing him to 
commence negotiations with the appointed agent of 
France, either in that or some neutral country, for the 
purpose of terminating the differences existing between 
their respective governments. M. Esmangart and the 
Haytian envoy agreed to hold their conferences at Brus- 
sels, but the hopes of the two contracting nations were 
in this instance also destined to be frustrated. The par- 
ties could not agree as to the nature of the indemnity to 
be made. 

At length, in 1825, after the recognition of the inde- 
pendence of Hayti by others, the French, under Charles 
X. , sold to its inhabitants the rights which they had won 
by their swords for the sum of one hundred and fifty 
millions of francs, to be paid as an indemnity to the 
colonists. This was the basis of a treaty of peace and 


fraternal feeling between France and Hayti, that re- 
sulted in great good to the latter. In 1843, a party 
opposed to president Boyer made its appearance, 
which formed itself into a conspiracy to overthrow the 
government. Seeing that he could not make head 
against it, Boyer, in disgust, took leave of the people 
in a dignified manner, and retired to the island of Ja- 
maica, where, a few years since, he died. 

Jean Pierre Boyer was born at Port au Prince, on 
the second of February, 1776, received a European 
education at Paris, fought under Rigaud and Touissant 
L'Ouverture; and in consequence of the success which 
the black leader obtained, quitted the Island. Boyer 
returned to Hayti in Le Clerc's expedition; he, how- 
ever, separated from the French general-in-chief, and 
joined in the foremost in the great battle for the free- 
dom of his race. He was a brave man, a good sol- 
dier, and proved himself a statesman of no ordinary 
ability. When he came into power, the mountains 
were filled with Maroons, headed by their celebrated 
chief, Gomar; Rigaud and Petion had tried in vain to 
rid the country of these brigands. 

Boyer, however, soon broke up their strongholds, 
dispersed them, and finally destroyed or brought them 
all under subjection. By his good judgment, manage- 
ment, and humanity, he succeeded in uniting the 
whole island under one government, and gained the 
possession of what Christophe had exhausted himself 
with efforts to obtain, and what Petion had sighed 
for, without daring to cherish a single hope that its 
attainment could be accomplished. Few men who 
took part in the St. Domingo drama, did more good, 
or lived a more blameless life, than Boyer. 



General Eiche, a griffe, or dark mulatto, was se- 
lected to fill the place left vacant by the flight of 
Boyer; and his ability, together with the universal con- 
fidence reposed in him by all classes, seemed to shadow 
forth a prosperous era for the republic. He had, how- 
ever, done little more than enter upon his arduous du- 
ties, when he was carried off by a sudden malady, uni- 
versally regretted by the entire population. 

The Senate, whose duty it was to elect the president, 
gave a majority of their votes for Faustin Soulouque, 
on the first of March, 1847, and he was inaugurated 
into the position the same day. 

Soulouque was a tall, good-natured, full-blooded 
negro, who, from the year 1804, when he was house- 
servant for General Lamarre, had passed through all 
the events of his country without leaving any trace of 
himself, whether good or bad. With no education, no 
ability, save that he was a great eater, he was the last 
man in the republic that would have been thought of 
for any office, except the one he filled. 

True, in 1810, while his master, General Lamarre, 



was defending the Mole against Christophe, the former 
was killed, and Soulouque was charged to carry the 
general's heart to Petion, who made the servant a lieu- 
tenant in his mounted guard ; and on Petion' s death, 
he bequeathed him to Boyer, as a piece of furniture 
belonging to the presidential palace. Boyer made 
Soulouque first servant, under the title of " captain,' ' 
to his housekeeper. Here he grew fat, and was for- 
gotten till 1843, when the revolution brought him into 
note. After serving a short time as president, his 
vanity induced Soulouque to aspire to be emperor, 
and that title was conferred upon him in the year 
1849. In this silly step he took for his model Napo- 
leon Bonaparte, according to whose court and camp 
Soulouque formed his own. 

But the people of Hayti soon saw the sad mistake 
in the election of such a man to power, and his change 
of base aroused a secret feeling against the empire, 
whi''h resulted in its overthrow, in 1859. 



Fabre Geffrard was born at Cayes September 19, 
1806. His father was General Nicholas Geffrard, one 
of the founders of Haytian independence. He became 
a soldier at the early age of fifteen, and after serving 
in the ranks, passed rapidly through several grades of 
promotion, until he obtained a captaincy. In 1843, 
when General Herard took up arms against President 
Boyer, he choose Geffrard for his lieutenant, who, by 
his skill and bravery, contributed largely to the suc- 
cess of the revolutionary army. As a reward for his 
valuable services, he received from the new government 
the brevet rank of general of brigade, and was com- 
mandant of Jacmel, and in 1845 he was named gen- 
eral of division. In 1849 he was appointed by 
Soulouque to take command of his Haytian army sent 
against the Dominicans, and in 1856 it fell to his lot, 
by the display of rare military talents, to repair in 
some measure the disasters attending the invasion of 
St. Domingo by the Haytian army, led by the empe- 
ror himself. Shortly after, Soulouque, moved thereto, 
doubtless, by jealousy of Geffrard's well-earned fame, 



disgraced him; but the emperor paid dearly ior this, 
for in December, 1858, Geffrard declared against him, 
and in January, 1859, Soulouque was overthrown, with 
his mock empire, and Geffrard proclaimed President 
of the Republic, which was restored. 

He at once set himself vigorously to work to rem- 
edy the numerous evils which had grown up under the 
administration of his ignorant, narrow-minded, and 
cruel predecessor, and became exceedingly popular. 
He established numerous schools in all parts of the 
Republic, and gave every encouragement to agricultu- 
ral and industrial enterprise generally. In 1861, he 
concluded a concordat with the Pope, creating Hayti 
an Archbishopric. Humane in his disposition, enlight- 
ened and liberal in his views, and a steady friend of 
progress, his rule, at one time, promised to be a long 
and prosperous one. 

Geffrard was in color a griffe, and was fifty-two 
years of age when called to the presidency of Hayti. 
He was of middle height, slim in figure, of a pleasing 
countenance, sparkling eye, gray hair, limbs supple 
by bodily exercise, a splendid horseman, and liberal 
to the arts, even to extravagance. Possessing a pol- 
ished education, he was gentlemanly in his conversa- 
tion and manners. Soon after assuming the presidency, 
he resolved to encourage immigration, and issued an 
address to the colored Americans, which in point of 
sympathy and patriotic feeling for his race, has never 
been surpassed by any man living or dead. 

It may be set down as a truism, that slavery, pro- 
scription, and oppression are poor schools in which to 
train independent, self-respecting freemen. Individ- 
uals so trained are apt to have all their aspirations, 


aims, ends, and objects in life on a level with the low, 
grovelling, and servile plane of a slavish and dependent 
mind ; or if by chance that mind has grown restless 
under its fetters, and sighs for enfranchisement and 
liberty, it is apt to rush to the other extreme in its 
desires, and is led to covet those positions for which 
it has no proper qualifications whatever. The bent 
of the slavery-disciplined mind is either too low or too 
high. It cannot remain in equilibrium. It either 
cringes with all the dastard servility of the slave, or 
assumes the lordly airs of a cruel and imperious 

These things, therefore, being true of the victims 
of abject servitude, we have herein the key to the 
failure of the colored emigration to Hayti. 

At the invitation of President Geffrard, in 1861, 
some of the colored citizens of the United States did 
accept the invitation and went out; but it would have 
been better for them and for Hayti had they remained 
at home. The majority of the emigrants ventured 
on the voyage to Hayti, because a free passage was 
given them by Geffrard ; and the offer of the Haytian 
government to supply the emigrants with provisions 
until they could raise a crop, was a bait which these 
idlers could not withstand. 

Men who had been failures in their own country, 
could scarcely be expected to meet with success by 
merely a trip across the sea. 

What Hayti needed were men with stout hearts and 
hard hands, fitted for an agricultural life, determined 
upon developing the resources of the country. Men 
of the above type are to be found in our land, but 


they can easily make a living here, and have no cause 
to emigrate. 

The liberal offer of the Haytian president to Amer- 
icans and other blacks to come to the Island, and his 
general progressive efforts to elevate his people, were 
not appreciated by the Haytians, and the spirit of 
revolution which had so long governed the Island, soon 
began to manifest itself. 

The several rebellions agaiDst the authority of 
President Geffrard, of Hayti, at length culminated in 
his overthrow and expulsion from the Island, and the 
elevation of his old enemy, Salnave, to the presidency. 
The rebellion, which was headed by Salnave, was begun 
in 1865. The rebels seized and held the town of Cape 
Haytian for several months, and were only finally 
driven out on its bombardment by the English man- 
of-war, Bull Dog, commanded by Captain Wake. Sal- 
nave was forced to leave Hayti and take refuge in St. 
Domingo. Captain Wake was called by the British 
government, and cashiered for his attack on Cape 

In his exile Salnave continued his efforts to revolu- 
tionize the country, and found many adherents, but few 
opportunities for an uprising. An attempt was made 
by his friends at Port au Prince on February 1, 1867; 
but Geffrard had been forewarned, and this attempt 
failed, and the ringleaders were captured and shot. 
The revolutionists did not despair, however, and on 
the night of February 22d a more successful effort was 
made; Geffrard was driven to seek safety in flight, 
and abdicating the presidency, went into exile in 
Jamaica. A Provisional Government was appointed, 
and Salnave, whom the people hailed as the "Gari- 


baldi of Hayti," and the "Deliverer of the People," 
was appointed President on April 26, 1867. He how- 
ever insisted that he would not accept the presidency 
except at the hands of the people. An election was 
therefore ordered and held. There were no rival can- 
didates in the field, the other most distinguished 
participants in the revolution, Generals Nissage and 
Chevallier, conceding the presidential chair to Salnave 
with great good-will. He was unanimously elected, 
and on Sunday, May 12, was sworn into office. 



President Salnave was a native of Cape Haytian, 
and was forty-one years of age when elevated to 
power. He was the son of French and Negro parents. 
He entered the army of Hayti in early youth, and was 
a major under Geffrard when the empire was over- 
thrown. While holding the same commission under 
the Republic, Salnave projected the rebellion of 1865, 
and seized Cape Haytian, from which he was driven, 
as we have described. He was said to be a man of 
unusual intelligence, of progressive and liberal ideas, 
great energy of character, and brilliant results were 
expected from his administration. 

However, obtaining supreme power by force, so 
common in Hayti, any one could see that Salnaves' 
government wouid be of short duration. The same 
influences as some of the men who aided him in driv- 
ing out Geffrard, soon began secretly to work against 
the new president, and on the 18th of December, 1869, 
Salnave found himself shut up in his capital, and 
surrounded on all sides by his most bitter enemies. 
At *flst, on the 8th of January, 1870, the Haytian 
16 (241) 


president sought safety in flight, but was captured 
by President Cabral, of Dominica, into whose govern- 
ment Salnave had taken refuge. 

Delivered up to his own government by the Do- 
minican president, Salnave was tried for high treason, 
condemned and shot. In personal appearance the 
defeated chief was a fine representative of the race. 
He was brown in complexion, hair black, soft, and 
wavy, education good, for the West Indies. Salnave 
was high-tempered, heedless, and even cruel. He 
was succeeded in the government of Hayti by General 
Nissage Saget, who seems to have the confidence of the 
people, and whom, it is hoped, he will have the power 
to unite. 



Jamaica, the chief of the British West India Islands, 
was discovered by Columbus on his second voyage, 
in May, 1494, and was taken from Spain by the Eng- 
lish in May, 1655, during the reign of Oliver Crom- 
well. It thus became an appendage to the British 
crown, after it had been in the possession of Spain 
for one hundred and forty-six years. The number of 
slaves on the Island at this time was about fifteen 

Morgan, a notorious pirate and buccaneer, was 
knighted and made governor of the Island in 1670. 
Lord Vaughan succeeded Morgan, and under his 
administration the African Company was formed, and 
the slave-trade legalized; Africans were imported in 
large numbers, and the development of the natural 
resources of Jamaica greatly increased the wealth of 
the planters. 

The number of slaves annually imported into the 
Island amounted to sixteen thousand,* so that within 
thirty years the slave population had increased from 

* "Jamaica, Past and Present." Phillippo. 



ninety-nine thousand to upwards of two hundred thou- 
sand, whilst the total numerical strength of the whites 
did not exceed sixteen thousand. 

From this time down to the year 1832, it presented 
a succession of wars, usurpations, crimes, misery, and 
vice; nor in this desert of human wretchedness is 
there one green spot on which the mind of a philan- 
thropist would love to dwell; all is one revolting 
scene of infamy, bloodshed, and unmitigated woe; of 
insecure peace and open disturbance; of the abuse of 
power, and of the reaction of misery against oppres- 
sion. In 1832 an insurrection of the slaves occurred, 
by which the lives of seven hundred slaves were sac- 
rificed, and ail expense, including property destroyed, 
of one hundred and sixty -two thousand pounds sterling. 

The total importation of slaves from the conquest 
of the Island by the English to 1805, amounted to eight 
hundred and fifty thousand, and this added to forty 
thousand brought b}^ the Spaniards, made an aggregate 
of eight hundred and ninety thousand, exclusive of all 
births, in three hundred years. The influence which 
the system of slavery spread over the community in 
Jamaica and the rest of the British West Indies, was 
not less demoralizing than in Hayti and the other 

Crimes which in European countries would have 
been considered and treated as a wanton insult to 
society at large, did not exclude the parties from the 
pale of respectable society, or generally operate to 
their disadvantage among the female portion of the 

The reckless destroyers of female innocence and 
happiness united in the dance, mingled in public 


entertainments, and were admitted at the social board, 
and were on terms of intimacy with the younger 
branches of families.* 

The intermediate colors between the whites * and 
pure blacks, were denominated as follows: A Sambo 
is the offspring of a mulatto woman by a black man ; 
a mulatto is the child of a black woman and white 
man; a quadroon is the offspring of a mulatto by a 
white man, and a mestee is that of a quadroon woman 
by a white man. The offspring of a female mestee by 
a white man being above the third in lineal descent 
from the Negro ancestor, was white, in the estimation of 
the law, and enjoyed all the privileges and immunities 
of Her Majesty's white subjects; but all the rest, 
whether mulattoes, quadroons, or mestees, were con- 
sidered by the law as mulattoes or persons of color. 

Although the people of Jamaica represented to the 
home government that the slaves were satisfied and 
happy, and would not accept their freedom were it 
offered them, a revolt of the blacks took place in 
1832. More than fifty thousand were engaged in this 
effort to obtain the long-wished-for boon. 

The man with whom the insurrection originated, — 
Samuel Sharp, — was a slave, and a member of the 
Baptist Church in Montego Bay. He was born in 
slavery, but he had never felt anything of the bitter- 
ness of slavery. He was born in a family that treated 
him indulgently; he was a pet, and was brought up as 
the playmate of the juvenile members of the family, and 
had opportunities of learning to read and for mental 
cultivation, to which very few of his fellow-slaves had 
access; and Sharp, above all this, was possessed of a 

* Pbillippo. 


mind worthy of any man, and of oratorical powers of 
no common order. 

Sharp determined to free himself and his fellow- 
slaves. I do not know whether he was himself 
deceived, or whether he knowingly deceived his fellow- 
conspirators; but he persuaded a large number of 
them to believe that the British government had made 
them free, and that their owners were keeping them 
in slavery, in opposition to the wishes of the authorities 
in England. It so happened, that, just at thai; time, 
the planters themselves were pursuing a course which 
favored Sharp's proceedings directly. They were 
holding meetings through the length and breadth of the 
Island, protesting against the interference of the home 
government with their property, passing very inflam- 
matory resolutions, and threatening that they would 
transfer their allegiance to the United States, in order 
that the} 7 might perpetuate their interest in their slaves. 

The insurrection was suppressed, and about two 
thousand of the slaves were put to death. This effort 
of the bondmen to free themselves, gave a new impetus 
to the agitation of the abolition movement, which had 
already begun under the auspices of Buxton, Allen, 
Brougham, and George Thompson, the successors of 
Clarkson, Wilberforce, Sharp, and Macaulay; and the 
work went bravely on. Elizabeth Heyrick, feeling 
that the emancipation of the slave could never be 
effected by gradual means, raised the cry of "Im- 
mediate emancipation." She wrote: "Immediate 
emancipation is the object to be aimed at; it is more 
wise and rational, more politic and safe, as well as 
more just and humane, than gradual emancipation. 
The interests, moral and political, temporal and eternal, 


of all parties concerned, will be best promoted by 
immediate emancipation. ' ' 

The doctrine of immediate emancipation was taken 
up by the friends of the Negro everywhere, and 
Brougham, in Parliament, said: — 

' 'Tell me not of rights; talk not of the property of 
the planter in his slaves. I deny the right; I ac- 
knowledge not the property. The principles, the 
feelings, of our common nature, rise in rebellion 
against it. Be the appeal made to the understand- 
ing or to the heart, the sentence is the same that re- 
jects it. In vain you tell me of laws that sanction 
such a claim." 

John Philpot Curran followed, in one of the finest 
speeches ever made in behalf of the rights of man. 
Said he, — 

"I speak in the spirit of the British Law, which 
makes liberty commensurate with, and inseparable 
from, the British soil; which proclaims, even to the 
stranger and the sojourner, the moment he sets his 
foot upon British earth, that the ground on which he 
treads is holy, and consecrated by the genius of Uni- 
versal Emancipation. No matter in what language his 
doom may have been pronounced ; no matter what com- 
plexion, incompatible with freedom, an Indian or an 
African sun may have burnt upon him; no matter in 
what disastrous battle his liberty may have been 
cloven down; no matter with what solemnities he may 
have been devoted upon the altar of slavery; the first 
moment he touches the sacred soil of Britain, the altar 
and the god sink together in the dust; his soul walks 
abroad in her own majesty; his body swells beyond 
the measure of his chains, that burst from around 


him, and he stands redeemed, regenerated, and dis- 
enthralled, by the irresistible genius of universal 
emancipation.' ' 

The name and labors of Granville Sharp have been 
overshadowed by those of other men, who reaped in 
the full, bright sunshine of success the harvest of pop- 
ular admiration for the results of a philanthropic 
policy, of which Granville Sharp was the seed-sower. 
Zachary, Macaulay, Clarksou, Wilberforce, and Buxton 
are regarded as the leaders of the great movement that 
emancipated the slaves of Great Britain. Burke and 
Wilkes are remembered as the enlightened advocates 
of the Independence of America; and these great names 
throw a shadow over the Clerk in the Ordnance, who, 
with high-soulcd integrity, resigned his place, and gave 
up a calling that was his only profession and livelihood, 
rather than serve a government that waged a fratricidal 
war, and who, in defiance of the opinions of the So- 
licitor and Attorney-General, and of the Lord Chief- 
Justice, opposed by all the lawyers, and forsaken even 
by his own professional advisers, undertook to search 
the indices of a law library, to wade through an im- 
mense mass of dry and repulsive literature, and to 
make extracts from all the most important Acts of 
Parliament as he went along; until, at the very time 
that slaves were being sold by auction in Liverpool 
and London, and when he could not find a single 
lawyer who agreed with his opinion, he boldly ex- 
claimed, "God be thanked! there is nothing in any 
English law or statute that can justify the enslaving 
of others. " 

Granville Sharp, in his boyhood a linen-draper's ap- 
prentice, and afterwards a clerk in the Ordnance De- 


partment of England, one day, in the surgery of his 
brother, saw a negro named Jonathan Strong, lame, 
unable to work, almost blind, very ill, and turned 
adrift in the streets of London, by his master, a lawyer 
in Barbadoes. The assistance of Granville Sharp, and 
of his brother William, the surgeon, restored Jona- 
than Strong to health, and obtained for him a situation. 
Two years afterwards, the Barbadoes lawyer recognized 
his slave, strong, healthy, and valuable, serving as a 
footman behind a lady's carriage, and he arrested the 
negro, and put him in prison, until there should be an 
opportunity to ship him for the West Indies. 

Mr. Sharp appealed to the Lord Mayor, who, 
although he decided that he was incompetent to deal 
with the legal question of the black's freedom, released 
Strong, because there was no offence charged against 

And then — it was in 1767 — now more than a hundred 
years ago — then began the protracted movement in 
England in favor of the slave. The master of Jona- 
than Strong immediately commenced an action against 
Granville Sharp, to recover possession of his negro, of 
whom he said he had been robbed : and Sharp drew up 
the result of his study of the question, in a plain, 
clear, and manly statement, which, after having been 
circulated some time in manuscript, was printed in 
1769, and was headed* "On the injustice of tolerating 
slavery in England." 

It produced such an effect on the opinion of the 
public, that the lawyer abandoned his proceedings. 
Other cases soon tested the earnest philanthropy of 
the slaves' friend. The wife of one Styles was seized 
and sent to Barbadoes. Sharp compelled the aggressor 


to bring the woman back. In 1776, Thomas Lewis 
was kidnapped and shipped for Jamaica. Sharp found 
him chained to the mainmast of a ship at Spithead, 
and by a writ of habeas corpus brought him before 
Lord Mansfield, the very judge whose opinion had 
been most strongly expressed in opposition to that 
entertained by Granville Sharp on the subject of slav- 

Lord Mansfield discharged the negro, because no 
evidence was adduced to show that he was ever nom- 
inally the property of the man who claimed him; but 
the great question of liberty or slavery remained as 
undecided as before. At this time the slave-trade was 
carried on openly in the streets of London, Bristol, 
and Liverpool. 

Negro slavery was enforced by merchants, supported 
by lawyers, and upheld by judges; and that a clerk 
in a public office, without personal influence, and 
armed only with integrity and moral courage, should, 
under such circumstances, assert, and, in the end, 
should prove, that the slave who sets his foot on 
British ground becomes at that instant free, is one of 
the most striking incidents in modern history. 

An opportunity for bringing the conflicting opinions 
to an issue soon occurred. A negro named James 
Somerset had been taken to England and left there 
by his master, who afterwards wished to send him 
back to Jamaica. Sharp found counsel to defend the 
negro, and Lord Mansfield intimated that the case 
was one of such general concern, that he should take 
the opinions of all the judges upon it. The case was 
adjourned and readjourned, and was carried over from 
term to term ; but at length Lord Mansfield declared 


the court to be clearly of opinion that "the claim of 
slavery never can be supported in England ; that the 
power claimed never was in use in England nor ac- 
knowledged by law; and that, therefore, the man 
James Somerset, must be discharged." By this judg- 
ment, the slave-trade in England was effectually abol- 

History affords no nobler picture than that of Gran- 
ville Sharp. Standing alone, opposed to the opinions 
of the ablest lawyers, and the most rooted prejudices 
and customs of the times ; fi^htinsr unassisted the most 
memorable battle for the constitution of his country, 
and for the liberties of British subjects, and by his 
single exertions gaining a most memorable victory. 

On the 1st of August, 1838, eight hundred thou- 
sand African bondmen were made fully and un- 
conditionally free; an act of legislation the most 
magnanimous and sublime in the annals of British 
history. Although the enemies of emancipation had 
predicted that murder and pillage would follow such 
an act, the conduct of the freed people was everything 
that the most ardent friends of the Negro could wish. 

On the evening of the day preceding that which 
witnessed the actual bestowment of the inestimable 
boon on the apprentices of Jamaica, the towns and 
missionary stations throughout the Island were 
crowded with people especially interested in the 
event, and who, filling the different places of worship, 
remained in some instances performing different acts of 
devotion until the day of liberty dawned, when they 
saluted it with the most joyous acclamations. Others, 
before and after similar services, dispersed themselves 
in different directions throughout the town and 


villages, singing the national anthem and devotional 
hymns, occasionally rending the air with their accla- 
mations of "Freedom's come! We're free, we're free; 
our wives and our children are free ! ' ' 

The conduct of the newly-emancipated peasantry 
everywhere, would have done credit to Christians of 
the most civilized country in the world. Their be- 
havior was modest, unassuming, civil, and obliging 
to each other as members of one harmonious family. 

Many of the original stock of slaves had been im- 
ported from amongst the Mandingoes, and Foulahs, 
from the banks of the Senegal, the Gambia, and the 
Rio Grande, the most refined and intellectual of 
the African tribes; and from the Congoes of Upper 
and Lower Guinea, the most inferior of the African 
race. The latter class brought with them all the 
vices and superstitions of their native land, and these 
had been cultivated in Jamaica. 

The worst of these superstitious ideas was obeism, a 
species of witchcraft employed to revenge injuries, or 
as a protection against theft and murder, and in favor 
for gaining the love of the opposite sex. It consisted 
in placing a spell or charm near the cottage of the 
individual intended to be brought under its influence, 
or when designed to prevent the depredations of 
thieves, in some conspicuous part of the house, or on 
a tree; it was signified by a calabash or gourd, con- 
taining among other ingredients, a combination of 
different colored rags, cats' .teeth, parrots' feathers, 
toads' feet, egg-shells, fish-bones, snakes' teeth, and 
lizards' tails.* 

Terror immediately seized upon the individual who 

* "Jamaica, Past and Present." Phillippo. 


beheld it, and either by resigning himself to despair, 
or by the secret communication of poison, in most 
cases death was the inevitable consequence. Similar 
to the iufluence of this superstition was that of their 
solemn curses pronounced upon thieves, but which 
would be too tedious to detail here. All of the Negro 
physicians of the olden times professed to have the 
gift of obeism, and were feared far more than they 
were loved. 

Dreams and visions constituted fundamental articles 
of their religious creed. Some supernatural revelations 
were regarded as indispensable to qualify for admis- 
sion to the full privileges of their community. Can- 
didates were required, indeed, to dream a certain 
number of dreams before they were received to mem- 
bership, the subjects of which were given them by 
their teachers. 

The meetings of this fraternity were frequently 
prolonged through nearly half the night. The minis- 
ters enjoined on their followers the duty of fasting one 
or two days in the week, and encouraged a weekly 
meeting at each other's houses, alternately, to drink 
"hot water" out of white tea-cups (the whole of the 
tea-table paraphernalia corresponding), which they 
designated by the absurd and inappropriate epithet of 
"breaking the peace," To such a deplorable extent 
did they carry these superstitious practices, and such 
was the degree of ignorance on the part of both minister 
and people, that, in the absence of better information 
as to what was to be sung in their religious assem- 
blies, they were in the habit of singing the childish 
story of "The house that Jack built." 

The missionaries, and especially the Baptists, who 


had been laboring against great disadvantages before 
the abolition of slavery, now that the curse was out 
of the way, did a noble work for the freed people. 
The erection of chapels all through the Island soon 
changed the moral and social condition of the blacks, 
as well as gave them a right idear of Christian duty. 



The Portuguese introduced slavery into Brazil 
about the year 1558, and the increase of that class of 
the population was as rapid as in any part of the newly 
discovered country. The treatment of the slaves did 
not differ from Jamaica, St. Domingo, and Cuba. 

Bazil has given the death-blow to the wicked system 
which has been so long both her grievous burden and 
her foul disgrace. Henceforth, every child born in 
the empire is free, and in twenty years the chains will 
fall from the limbs of her last surviving slave. By 
this decree, nearly three million blacks are raised up 
from the dust; and though but few of this generation 
can hope to see the day of general emancipation, it is 
much for them to know that the curse which rested on 
the parents will no longer be transmitted to the chil- 
dren ; it is something that the younger of them have a 
bright although distant future to look toward and to 
wait for. \ ery likely, too, the dying institution will 
not be suffered to linger out the whole of the exist- 
ence which the new law accords to it; as the benefits 
of free labor to the whole country become appreciated 



fresh legislation may hasten the advent of national 
liberty and justice. 

The first colonists enslaved the Indians; and, de- 
spite the futile measures of emancipation adopted by 
the Portuguese crown in 1570, in 1647, and in 1684, 
these unfortunate natives remained in servitude until 
1755, and would perhaps have been held to this. day, 
had they not proved very unprofitable. Negroes were 
accordingly imported from other Portuguese dominions, 
and a slave-trade with the African coast naturally 
sprang up, and is only just ended. Portugal bound 
herself by treaty with England, in 1815, to abolish 
the trade. Brazil renewed the obligation in her own 
name in 1826. Yet in 1839 it was estimated that eighty 
thousand blacks were imported every year; and, ten 
years later, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reported 
that the brutal traffic had only been reduced one- 
fourth. The energetic action of England, declaring 
in 1845 that Brazilian slave-ships should be amena- 
ble to English authorities, led to a long diplomatic 
contest, and threats of war; but it bore fruit in 1850 
in a statute wherein Brazil assimilated the trade to 
piracy, and in 1852 the emperor declared it virtually 

In the mean time, an opposition, not to the slave- 
trade alone, but to slavery, too, gradually strength- 
ened itself within the empire. Manumission became 
frequent, and the laws made it very easy. A society 
was organized under the protection of the emperor, 
which, every year, in open church, solemnly liberated 
a number of slaves; and in 1856 the English Embas- 
sador wrote home that the government had communi- 
cated to him their resolution gradually to abolish 


slavery in every part of the empire. The grand step 
which they have now taken has no doubt been impelled 
by the example of our own country. It is one of the 
many precious fruits which have sprung, and are 
destined yet to spring, from the soil which we watered 
so freely with patriot blood. 

Information generally, with regard to Brazil, is 
scanty, especially in connection with the blacks; but 
in all the walks of life, men of color are found in that 

In the Brazilian army, many of the officers are 
mulattoes, and some of a very dark hue. The prejudice 
of color is not so prominent here, as in some other 
slaveholding countries. 




Cuba, the stronghold of Spain, in the western world, 
has labored under the disadvantages of slavery for 
more than three hundred years. The Lisbon mer- 
chants cared more for the great profits made from the 
slave-trade, than for the development of the rich 
resources of this, one of the most beautiful of the 
West India Islands, and therefore, they invested 
largely in that nefarious traffic. The increase of 
slaves, the demand for sugar and the products of the 
tropics, and the inducement which a race for wealth 
creates in the mind of man, rapidly built up the" city 
of Havana, the capital of the Island. The colored 
population of Cuba, like the whites, have made but 
little impression on the world outside of their own 
southern home. There is, however, one exception in 
favor of the blacks. In the year 1830, there appeared 
in Havana a young colored man, whose mother had 
recently been brought from Africa. His name was 
Placido, and his blood was unmixed. Being with a 
comparatively kind master, he found time to learn to 



read, and began developing the genius which at a 
later period showed itself. 

The young slave took an interest in poetry, and often 
wrote poems which were set to music and sung in the 
drawing-rooms of the most refined assemblies in the 
city. His young master, paying his addresses to a 
rich heiress, the slave was ordered to write a poem 
embodying the master's passion for the young lady. 
Placido acquitted himself to the entire satisfaction of 
the lover, who copied the epistle in his own hand, and 
sent it on its mission. The slave's compositions were 
so much admired that they found their way into the 
newspapers; but no one knew the negro as their 

In 1838, these poems, together with a number which 
had never appeared in print, were entrusted to a white 
man, who sent them to England, where they were 
published and much praised for the talent and schol- 
arly attainment which they evinced. A number of 
young whites, who were well acquainted with Placido, 
and appreciated his genius, resolved to purchase him, 
and present him his freedom, which was done in 1842. 

But a new field had opened itself to the freed black, 
and he began to tread in its paths. Freedom for him- 
self was only the beginning; he sighed to make others 

The imaginative brain of the poet produced verses 
which the slaves sung in their own rude way, and 
which kindled in their hearts a more intense desire for 
liberty. Placido planned an insurrection of the slaves, 
in which he was to be their leader and deliverer ; but 
the scheme failed. 

After a hasty trial, he was convicted and sentenced 


to death. The fatal day came, he walked to the place 
of execution with as much calmness as if it had been 
to an ordinary resort of pleasure. His manly and 
heroic bearing excited the sympathy and admiration of 
all who saw .him. As he arrived at the fatal spot, he 
began reciting the hymn, which he had written in his 
cell the previous night. 

" Almighty God ; whose goodness knows no bound, 
To Thee I flee in my severe distress ; 
O, let Thy potent arm my wrongs redress, 
And rend the odious veil by slander wound 
About my brow. The base world's arm confound, 

Who on my front would now the seal of shame impress." 

The free blacks in Cuba form an important element 
in her population, and these people are found in all the 
professions and trades. The first dentists are Blake 
and Coopat, mulattoes; the first musician, Joseito 
White, a mulatto; one of the best young ladies' acad- 
emies at present existing at Havana is personally con- 
ducted by an accomplished negro woman, Maria de 
Serra, to whom many a lady of high rank owes her 
social and intellectual accomplishments. The only 
Cuban who has distinguished herself as an actress on 
foreign stages is Dacoste, a mulatto; Covarrubias, the 
great comedian and lively writer, for many years the 
star of the Cuban stage, was also a mulatto; Francisco 
Marrzano, the poet, was a negro slave. 

The prompter of the theatre of St. John, of Porto 
Rico, is Bartolo Antique, a negro, so intelligent that 
the dramatic companies that come from Spain prefer 
him to their own prompters. The engineer of the 
only steamboat in Porto Hico is a colored man. The 
only artist worthy to be mentioned, in the same Island, 


is the religious painter, Jos6 Campeche, a mulatto. 
These are only a few known and acknowledged as 
colored, but should we search the sources of every 
family in Cuba and Porto Rico, we are sure that more 
or less, we could trace the African blood in the 
greatest number of our most illustrious citizens. 

In Porto Rico, Dubois, a mulatto, paid the penalty 
of his head for his boldness and patriotism. There 
were in Cuba, in 1862, two hundred and twenty-one 
thousand four hundred and seventeen free colored 
people, and three hundred and sixty-eight thousand 
five hundred and fifty slaves. In Porto Rico, in the 
same year, there were two hundred and forty-one 
thousand and fifteen free colored people, and forty-one 
thousand seven hundred and thirty-six slaves. 

When the English troops invaded the Island of 
Cuba, in 1762, the negroes behaved so well during the 
siege at Havana, that a large number of them received 
from Governor Prado's hands, and in the name of the 
King, their letters of emancipation, in acknowledg- 
ment of their gallantry and good services. 



Although not strictly a Spanish possession, Santo 
Domingo may be counted in, with the people already 
enumerated in the West Indies. Its history is identical 
with that of Hayti. Forming a part of the same Island, 
and inhabited by blacks, mulattoes, and whites; and 
being part of the battle-ground upon which the 
negroes fought the French, in the revolution which 
freed the Island from its former masters. Santo Do- 
mingo has passed through all the scenes of blood and 
desolation, only in a milder form, that their neighbors 
of the other end of the Island have experienced. 
Santo Domingo has been under Spanish, French, and 
Haytian rule, and often a republic of her own, the 
latter of which she now enjoys. 

It was during the government of Boyer that the 
Spanish or Dominican part of the Island was united 
with the French part. In relation to this matter, 
gross misrepresentations have been made; — it has 
been urged in defence of the Dominican claim to an 
independent government, an independence based upon 
nullification, that they were beaten down, trampled 



upon, and almost crushed before they would unite with 
a nation of blacks. 

The facts are these: at the time of Boyer's election, 
the Spanish part of the Island was independent, but 
its situation was most precarious; the war between 
Spain and her revolted provinces in South America 
was at its height, and the Columbian privateers which 
thronged the Carribean sea were continually plunder- 
ing the people along the shores of the Spanish coast ; 
moreover, there were many persons in that division, 
of the Island who were inclined to favor a union with 
the patriots of South America, but by far the largest 
number opposed this suggestion. 

Such was the state of things at the commencement 
of Boyer's administration. After maturely reflecting 
upon the difficulties by which they were surrounded, 
the feeble government of the Spanish part sought 
protection in a union with the Haytians, and Boyer 
was formally solicited by them to grant his consent to 
the annexation of the Eastern part. This request was 
complied with, and the Eastern regiou became a part 
and parcel of that republic. 

Thus it is seen that the Dominicans adopted the 
Haytian government, not only voluntarily, but joyfully. 

At the close of Boyer's administration the Domin- 
icans separated from the v Haytians, and formed a re- 
public, since which time the latter has made war upon 
the former, whenever an opportunity presented itself, 
and which has been the great cause of the poverty 
and want of development of both sections of the Island. 

Herard, who succeeded Boyer in the government 
of Hayti, and w*ho was president when the Dominicans 
seceded, was himself a mulatto, and there appeared to 


be no cause of difficulty, but the people of Santo 
Domingo wanted the change. 

The Dominicans enjoyed a better state of civilization 
than their neighbors, and if let alone, would soon 
outstrip Hayti in everything pertaining to free and 
independent government. 

But the Dominicans have to keep a large standing 
army, which takes most of their young men, and are 
always in an unsettled state, which greatly hinders 
the commercial and agricultural growth of the country. 

Both Hayti and Santo Domingo will doubtless, at 
no distaut day, fall into the hands of some more civi- 
lized nation or nations, for both are on the decline, 
especially as regards self-defence. Both are to-day at 
the mercy of nearly all other nations, and some day 
the "Doctor" will go in to look after the "Sick man." 



Simultaneously with the landing of the Pilgrims 
from the Mayflower, on Plymouth Rock, December 
22d, 1620, a clumsy-lookiDg brig, old and dirty, 
with paint nearly obliterated from every part, slowly 
sailed up the James River, and landed at Jamestown. 
The short, stout, fleshy appearance of the men in charge 
of the vessel , and the five empty sour-crout barrels 
which lay on deck, told plainly in what country the 
navigators belonged. 

Even at that early day they had with them their 
"native beverage," which, though not like the lager 
of the present time, was a drink over which they 
smoked and talked of "Farderland," and traded for 
the negroes they brought. The settlers of Jamestown, 
and indeed, all Virginia at that time, were mainly 
cavaliers, gentlemen-adventurers, aspiring to live by 
their wits and other men's labor. Few of the pioneers 
cherished any earnest liking for downright persistent 
muscular exertion, yet some exertion was urgently re- 
quired to clear away the heavy forest which all but 
covered the soil of the infant colony, and to grow the 



tobacco which easily became the staple export by 
means of which nearly everything required by its 
people but food was to be paid for in England. 

The landing of the twenty slaves from the Dutch 
brig was the signal for all sorts of adventurers to 
embark in the same nefarious traffic. Worn-out and 
unseaworthy European ships, brigs, barks, schooners, 
and indeed, everything else that could float, no matter 
how unsafe, were brought into requisition to supply 
the demand for means of transportation in the new 

Thousands of persons incarcerated in the prisons of 
the old world were liberated upon condition that they 
would man these slave-trading vessels. The discharged 
convicts were used in the slave factories on the African 
coast, and even the marauding expeditions sent out 
from the slave ships in search of victims were mainly 
made up of this vile off-cast and scum of the prison 
population of England, France, Germany, Spain, and 
Portugal.. So great was the increase of this traffic, 
that in a shoit time the importation in a single year 
amounted to forty thousand slaves. 

The immense growth of the slave population in the 
Southern States, soon caused politicians to take sides 
for or against the institution. This, however, did not 
manifest itself to any very great extent, until the 
struggle for National Independence was over, and the 
people, North and South, began to look at their in- 
terests connected with each section of the country. 

At the time that the Declaration of Independence was 
put forth, no authentic enumeration had been made; 
but when the first census was taken in 1791, the total 
number of slaves in what are now known as the North- 


era States, was forty thousand three hundred and 
seventy; in the Southern, six hundred and fifty-three 
thousand nine hundred and ten. 

It is very common at this day to speak of our rev- 
olutionary struggle as commenced and hurried forward 
by a union of free and slave colonies ; but such is not 
the fact. However slender and dubious its legal basis, 
slavery existed in each and all of the colonies that 
united to declare and maintain their Independence. 
Slaves were proportionately more numerous in certain 
portions of the South; but they were held with impu- 
nity throughout the North, advertised like dogs or 
horses, and sold at auction, or otherwise, as chattels. 
Vermont, then a territory in dispute between New 
Hampshire and New York, and with very few civilized 
inhabitants, mainly on its southern and eastern bor- 
ders, is probably the only portion of the revolutionary 
confederation never polluted by the tread of a slave. 

The spirit of liberty, aroused or intensified by the 
protracted struggle of the colonists against usurped 
and abused power in the mother-country, soon found 
itself engaged in natural antagonism against the cur- 
rent form of domestic despotism. 

"flow shall we complain of arbitrary or unlimited 
power exerted over us, while we exert a still more 
despotic and inexcusable power over a dependent and 
benighted race?" was very fairly asked. Several 
suits were brought in Massachusetts — where the fires 
of liberty burned earliest and brightest — to test the 
legal right of slaveholding : and the leading Whigs gave 
their money and their legal services to support these 
actions, which were general ly, on one ground or an- 
other, successful. Efforts for an express law of eman- 


cipation,- however, failed, even in Massachusetts; the 

Legislature doubtless apprehended that such a meas- 
ure, by alienating the slaveholders, would increase the 

number and power of the Tories; but in 1777, a pri- 
vateer having brought a lot of captured slaves into 
Jamaica, and advertised them for sale, the General 
Court, as the legislative assembly was called, inter- 
fered, and had them set nt liberty. The first Conti- 
nental Congress which resolved to resist the usurp- 
ations and oppressions of Great Britain by force, had 
already declared that our struggle would he "for the 
cause of human nature," which the Congress of 17 7(1, 
under the lead of Thomas Jefferson, expanded into 
the noble affirmation of the right of "all men to life, 
liberty, and ihr pursuit of happiness" contained in the 
immortal preamble to the Declaration of Independence. 
A like averment that "all men are born free and equal," 
was in 1780 inserted in the Massachusetts Bill of 
Rights; and* the Supreme Court of that State, in 

1783, on an indictment of a master for assault and 
battery, held this declaration a bar to slave-holding 
henceforth in the State. 

A similar clause in the second Constitution of New 
Hampshire, was held by the courts of that State to 
secure freedom to every child born therein after its 
adoption. Pennsylvania, in 1780, passed an act prohib- 
iting the further introduction of slaves, and securing 
freedom to all persons born in that State thereafter. 
Connecticut and Bhode Island passed similar acts in 

1784. Virginia, in 1778, on motion of Mr. Jefferson, 
prohibited the further importation of slaves; and in 
1782, removed all legal restrictions on emancipation. 
Maryland adopted both of these in 1783. North 


Carolina, in 1786, declared the introduction of slaves 
into the State "of evil consequences and highly im- 
politic," and imposed a duty of £5 per head thereon. 
New York and New Jersey followed the example of 
Virginia and Maryland, including the domestic in the 
same interdict with the foreign slave-trade. Neither 
of these states, however, declared a general emancipa- 
tion until many years thereafter, and slavery did not 
wholly cease in New York until about 1830, nor in 
New Jersey till a much later date. The distinction of 
free and slave states, with the kindred assumption of a 
natural antagonism between the North and South, was 
utterly unknown to the men of the Revolution. 



The earliest account we have of slavery in Massa- 
chusetts is recorded in Josselyn's description of his 
first visit to New England, in 1G38. Even at that 
time, slave-raising on a small scale had an existence 
at the North. Josselyn says: " Mr. Maverick had a 
negro woman from whom he was desirous of having a 
breed of slaves; he therefore ordered his young negro 
man to sleep with her. The man obeyed his master so 
far as to go to bed, when the young woman kicked him 
out. * This seems to have been the first case of an 
insurrection in the colonies, and commenced, too, by a 
woman. Probably this fact has escaped the notice of 
the modern advocates of "Woman's Eights. " The 
public sentiment of the early Christians upon the 
question of slavery can be seen by the following form 
of ceremony, which was used at the marriage of 

This was prepared and used by the Rev. Samuel 
Phillips, of Andover, whose ministry there, beginning 
in 1710, and ending with his death, in 1771, was a 

* John Josselyn. 



prolonged and eminently distinguished service of more 
than half the eighteenth centurv: — 

"You, Bob, do now, in ye Presence of God and 
these Witnesses, Take Sally to be your wife; 

"Promising, that so far as shall be consistent with 
ye Relation which you now Sustain as a servant, you 
will Perform ye Part of an Husband towards her: And 
in particular, as you shall have ye Opportunity & Abil- 
ity, you will take proper Care of her in Sickness and 
Health, in Prosperity & Adversity; 

"And that you will be True & Faithfull to her, and 
will Cleave to her only, so long as God, in his Provi- 
dence, shall continue your and her abode in Such Place 
(or Places) as that you can conveniently come to- 
gether. Do You thus Promise ? 

"You, Sally, do now, in ye Presence of God, and 
these Witnesses, Take Bob to be your Husband; 

"Promising, that so far as your present Relation as a 
Servant shall admit, you will Perform the Part of a 
Wife towards him: and in particular, 

"You Promise that you will Love him; And that as 
you shall have the Opportunity & Ability, you will 
take a proper Care of him in Sickness and Health; in 
Prosperity and Adversity : 

"And you will cleave to him only, so long as God, 
in his Providence, shall continue his & your Abode in 
such Place (or Places) as that you can come together. 

Do you thus Promise? I then, agreeable to your 

Request, and with ye Consent of your Masters & Mis- 
tresses, do Declare that you have License given you 
to be conversant and familiar together as Husband and 
Wife, so long as God shall continue your Places of 


Abode as aforesaid ; And so long as you Shall behave 
yourselves as it becometh servants to doe: 

"For you must both of you bear in mind that you 
remain still, as really and truly as ever, your Master's 
Property, and therefore it will be justly expected, 
both by God and Man, that you behave and conduct 
yourselves as Obedient and faillifull Servants to- 
wards your respective Masters & Mistresses for the 
Time bcinsr: 

"And finally, I exhort and Charge you to beware lest 
you give place to the Devel, so as to take occasion 
from the license now given you, to be lifted up with 
Pride, and thereby fall under the Displeasure, not of 
Man only, but of God also; for it is written, that God 
resisteth the Proud but giveth Grace to the humble. 

"I shall now conclude with Prayer for } r ou, that you 
may become good Christians, and that you may be 
enabled to conduct as such; and in particular, that 
you may have Grace to behave suitably towards each 
Other, as also dutifully towards your Masters & Mis- 
tresses, Not with Eye Service as Men pleasers, ye 
Servants of Christ doing ye Will of God from ye 
heart, &c. 


"Negro Marriage." 

We have given the above form of marriage, verbatim 
et literatim. 

In 1641, the Massachusetts Colony passed the fol- 
lowing law: — 

"There shall never be any bond slaverie, villinage, 
or captivitie amongst us unless it be lawfull captives 
taken in just warres, and such strangers as willingly 


sell themselves. And these shall have all the liber- 
ties and Christian usages, which the law of God estab- 
lished in Israel concerning such persons doth morally 
require. This exempts none from servitude, who 
shall be judged thereto by authority." 

In 1646, one James Smith, a member of a Boston 
church, brought home two negroes from the coast of 
Guinea, and had been the means of killing near a 
hundred more. In consequence of this conduct, the 
General Court passed the following order: — 

"The General Court conceiving themselves bound 
by the first opportunity to bear witness against the 
heinous and crying sin of man-stealing, as also to 
prescribe such timely redress for what is passed, and 
such a law for the future as may sufficiently deter all 
others belonging to us to have to do in such vile and 
odious courses, justly abhorred of all good and just 
men, do order that the negro interpreter with others 
unlawfully taken, be by the first opportunity at the 
charge of the country for the present, sent to his na- 
tive country (Guinea) and a letter with him of the 
indignation of the Court thereabouts, and justice there- 
of desiring our honored Governor would please put 
this order in execution." 

From this time till about 1700, the number of slaves 
imported into Massachusetts was not large. In 1680, 
Governor Simon Bradstreet, in answer to inquiries 
from "the lords of his Majesty's privy council," thus 
writes : — 

"There hath been no company of blacks or slaves 

brought into the country since the beginning of this 

plantation, for the space of fifty yeares, only one small 

vessell about two yeares since after twenty months' 




voyage to Madagascar brought hither betwixt forty and 
fifty negroes, most women anil children, sold for £10, 
£15, and £20 apiece, which stood the merchants in near 
£40 apiece one with another: now and then two or 
three negroes are brought hither from Barbadoes and 
other of His Majesty's plantations, and sold here for 
about £20 apiece, so that there may bee within our 
government about one hundred, or one hundred and 
twenty, and it may bee as many Scots brought hither 
and sold for servants in the time of the war with Scot- 
land, and most now married and living here, and about 
halfe so many Irish brought hither at several times as 

The number of slaves at this period in the middle 
and southern colonies is not easily ascertained, as few 
books, and no newspapers were published in North 
America prior to 1704. In that year, the " Weekly 
News Letter" was commenced, and in the same year 
the "Society for the propagation of the Gospels in 
foreign parts opened a catechising school for the slaves 
at New York, in w T hich city there were then computed 
to be about fifteen hundred Negro and Indian slaves," 
a sufficient number to furnish materials for the "irre- 
pressible conflict," which had long before begun. The 
catechist, whom the Society employed, was "Mr. Elias 
Neau, by nation a Frenchman, who having made a 
confession of the Protestant religion in France, for 
which he had been confined several years in prison, 
and seven years in the galleys." Mr. Neau entered 
upon his office "with great diligence, and his labors 
were very successful ; but the negroes were much dis- 
couraged from embracing the Christian religion upon 
the account of the very little regard showed them in 


any religious respect. Their marriages were performed 
by mutual consent only, without the blessing of the 
church; they were buried by those of their own 
country and complexion, in the common field, with- 
out any Christian office; perhaps some ridiculous 
heathen rites were performed at the grave by some of 
their own people. No notice was given of their being 
sick, that they might be visited; on the contrary, 
frequent discourses were made in conversation that 
they had no souls, and perished as the beasts, and 
that they grew worse by being taught and made 
Christians." * 

From this time forward, the increase of slaves was 
very rapid in Virginia and South Carolina, and with 
this increase, discontent began to show itself amongst 
the blacks. 

* Joshua Coffin 



The first serious effort at rebellion by the slaves 
in the colonies, occurred in New York, in 1712; where, 
if it hud not been for the timely aid from the garri- 
son, the city would have been reduced to ashes. The 
next insurrection took place in South Carolina, in 
1720, where the blacks in considerable numbers at- 
tacked the whites in their houses and in the streets. 

Forces were immediately raised and sent after them, 
twenty-three of whom were taken, six convicted, three 
executed, and three escaped. 

In October, 1722, about two hundred negroes near 
the mouth of the Rappahannock River, Virginia, got 
together in a body, armed with the intent to kill the 
people in church, but were discovered, and fled. 

On the loth of April, 1723, Governor Dummer 
issued a proclamation with the following preamble, 
viz : — 

"Whereas, within some short time past, many fires 
have broke out within the town of Boston, and divers 
buildings have thereby been consumed: which fires 
have been designedly and industriously kindled by 



some villainous and desperate negroes, or other disso- 
lute people, as appears by the confession of some of 
them (who have been examined by the authority) , and 
many concurring circumstances; and it being vehe- 
mently suspected that they have entered into a combi- 
nation to burn and destroy the town, I have therefore 
thought fit, with the advice of his Majesty's council, 
to issue forth this proclamation," etc. 

On the 18th of April, 1723, Rev. Joseph Sewall 
preached a discourse, particularly occasioned "by the 
late fires yt have broke out in Boston, supposed to be 
purposely set by ye negroes." 

On the next day, April 19th, the Selectmen of Bos- 
ton made a report to the town on the subject, consist- 
ing of nineteen articles, of which the following is 
No. 9: — 

"That if more than two Indians, Negro or Mulatto 
Servants or Slaves be found in the Streets or High- 
ways in or about the Town, idling or lurking 
together unless in the service of their Master or 
Employer, every one so found shall be punished at the 
House of Correction." 

So great at that time were the alarm and danger 
in Boston, occasioned by the slaves, that in addition 
to trie common watch, a military force was not only 
kept up, but at the breaking out of every fire, a part 
of the militia were ordered out under arms to keep 
the slaves in order! ! 

In 1728, an insurrection of slaves occurred in Savan- 
nah, Georgia, who were fired on twice before they fled. 
They had formed a plot to destroy all the whites, and 
nothing prevented them but a disagreement about the 
mode. At that time, the population consisted of three 


thousand whites and two thousand seven hundred 

In August, 1730, an insurrection of blacks occurred 
in Williamsburgh, Virginia, occasioned by a report, 
on Colonel Spotswood's arrival, that he had directions 
from His Majesty to free all baptized persons. The 
negroes improved this to a great height. Five counties 
were in arms pursuing them, with orders to kill them 
if they did not submit. 

In August, 1730, the slaves in South Carolina con- 
spired to destroy all the whites. This was the first 
open rebellion in that State where the negroes were 
actually armed and embodied, and took place on the 

In the same month, a negro man plundered and 
burned a house in Maiden (Mass.,) and gave this 
reason for his conduct, that his master had sold him to 
a man in Salem, whom he did not like. 

In 1731, Captain George Scott, of Rhode Island, 
was returning from Guinea with a carsro of slaves, who 
rose upon the ship, murdered three of the crew, all of 
whom soon after died, except the captain and boy. 

In 1732, Captain John Major, of Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire, was murdered, with all his crew, and the 
schooner and cargo seized by the slaves. a 

In 1741, there was a formidable insurrection among 
the slaves in New York. At that time the population 
consisted of twelve thousand whites, and two thousand 
blacks. Of the conspirators, thirteen were burned 
alive, eighteen hung, and eighty transported. 

Those who were transported were sent to the West 
India islands. As a specimen of the persons who 


were suitable for transportation, I give the following 
from the "Boston Gazette," Aug. 17, 1761: — 

"To be sold, a parcel of likely young Negroes, im- 
ported from Africa, cheap for cash. Inquire of John 
Avery. Also, if any person have any negro men, 
strong and hearty, though not of the best moral char- 
acter, which are proper subjects of transportation, 
they may have an exchange for small negroes." 

In 1747, the slaves on board of a Rhode Island ship 
commanded b} r Captain Beers, rose, when off Cape 
Coast Castle, and murdered the captain and all the 
crew, except the two mates, who swam ashore. 

In 1754, C. Croft, Esq., of Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, had his buildings burned by his female negroes, 
two of tv horn were burned alive! ! 

In September, 1755, Mark and Phillis, slaves, 
were put to death at Cambridge (Mass.,) for poison- 
ing their master, Mr. John Codman of Charlestown. 
Mark was hanged, and Phillis burned alive. Having 
ascertained that their master had, by his will, made 
them free at his death, they poisoned him in order 
to obtain their liberty so much the sooner. 

In the year 1800, the city of Eichmond, Virginia, 
and indeed the whole slave -holding country were 
thrown into a state of intense excitement, consternation 
and alarm, by the discovery of an intended insurrection 
among the slaves. The plot was laid by a slave named 
Gabriel, who was claimed as the property of Mr. 
Thomas Prosser. A full and true account of this 
General Gabriel, and of the proceedings consequent 
on the discovery of the plot, has never yet been pub- 
lished. In 1831, a short account which is false in 
almost every particular, appeared in the Albany 


"Evening Journal," under the head of * 'Gabriel's 

The following is the copy of a letter dated Sep- 
tember 21, 1800, written by a gentleman of Rich- 
mond, Virginia, published in the ''Boston Gazette," 
October 6th: — 

"By this time, you have no doubt heard of the con- 
spiracy formed in this country by the negroes, which, 
but for the interposition of Providence, would have 
put the metropolis of the State, and even the State 
itself, into their possession. A dreadful storm, with 
a deluge of rain, which carried away the bridges, 
and rendered the water-courses everywhere impassable, 
prevented the execution of their plot. It was extensive 
and vast in its design. Nothing could have been better 

o o 

contrived. The conspirators were to have seized on 
the magazine, the treasury, the mills, and the bridges 
across James River. They were to have entered the 
city of Richmond in three places with fire and sword, 
to commence an indiscriminate slaughter, the French 
only excepted. They were then to have called on 
their fellow-negroes and the friends of humanity 
throughout the continent, by proclamation, to rally 
round their standard. The magazine, which was 
defenceless, would have supplied them with arms for 
many thousand men. 

"The treasury would have given them money, the 
mills bread, and the bridges would have enabled them 
to let in their friends, and keep out their enemies. 
Never was there a more propitious season for the 
accomplishment of their purpose. 

"The country is covered with rich harvests of Indian 
corn; flocks and herds are everywhere fat in the 


fields, and the liberty and equality doctrine, nonsen- 
sical and wicked as it is (in this land of tyrants and 
slaves), is for electioneering purposes sounding and 
resounding through our valleys and mountains in every 
direction. The city of Richmond and the circumjacent 
country are in arms, and have been so for ten or 
twelve days past. The patrollers are doubled through 
the State, and the Governor, impressed with the 
magnitude of the danger, has appointed for himself 
three aids-de-camp. A number of conspirators have 
been hung, and a great many more are yet to be hung. 
The trials and executions are going on day by day. 
Poor, deluded wretches! Their democratic deluders, 
conscious of their own guilt, and fearful of the public 
vengeance, are most active in bringing them to 



The Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770, may be 
regarded as the first act in the great drama of the 
American Revolution. "From that moment," said 
Daniel Webster, "we may date the severance of the 
British Empire." The presence of the British soldiers 
in King Street excited the patriotic indignation of the 
people. The whole community was stirred, and sage 
counsellors were deliberating and writing and talking 
about the public grievances. But it was not for "the 
wise and prudent" to be the first to act against the 
encroachments of arbitrary power. 

A motley rabble of men and boys, led by Crispus 
Attucks, a negro, and shouting, "The way to get rid 
of these soldiers is to attack the main guard; strike 
at the root; this is the nest!" with more valor than 
discretion, they rushed to King Street, and were fired 
upon by Captain Preston's company. Crispus Attucks 
was the first to fall; he and Samuel Gray and Jonas 
Caldwell were killed on the spot. Samuel Maverick 
and Patrick Carr were mortally wounded. 

The excitement which followed was intense. The 



bells of the town were rung; an impromptu meeting 
was held, and an immense assembly was gathered. 
Three days after, on the 8th, a public funeral of the 
martyrs took place. The shops in Boston were 
closed ; all the bells of Boston and neighboring towns 
were rung. It was said that a greater number of 
persons, assembled on this occasion than were ever 
before gathered on the continent for a similar purpose. 
The body of Attucks, the negro slave, had been 
placed in Faneuil Hall, with that of Caldwell, both 
being strangers in the city. Maverick was buried 
from his mother's house in Union Street, and Gray 
from his brother's, in Royal Exchange Lane. The 
four hearses formed a junction in King Street, and 
there the procession marched on in columns six deep, 
with a long file of coaches belonging to the most 
distinguished' citizens, to the middle burying-ground, 
where the four victims were deposited in one grave, 
over which a stone was placed with the following in- 
scription : 

"Long as in Freedom's cause the wise contend, 
Dear to your country shall your fame extend ; 
While to the world the lettered stone shall tell, 
Where Caldwell, Attucks, Gray and Maverick fell." 

The anniversary of this event was publicly commem- 
orated in Boston, by an oration and other exercises, 
every year until after our national independence was 
achieved, when the Fourth of July was substituted for 
the fifth of March, as the more proper day for general 
celebration. Not only was the occasion commemo- 
rated, but the martyrs who then gave up their lives 
were remembered and honored. For half a century 


after the close of the war, the name of Crispus Attucks 
was honorably mentioned by the most noted men of 
the country, who were not blinded by foolish preju- 
dice, which, to say the most, was only skin-deep. 

A single passage from Bancroft's history will give 
a succinct and clear account of the condition of the 
army in respect to colored soldiers, at the' time of 
the battle of Bunker Hill: — 

"Nor should history forget to record, that, as in 
the army at Cambridge, so also in this gallant band, 
the free negroes of the colony had their representa- 
tives. For the right of free negroes to bear arms in 
the public defence was, at that day, as little disputed 
in New England as their other rights. They took 
their place not in a separate corps, but in the ranks 
with the white man; and their names may be read on 
the pension-rolls of the country, side by side with 
those of other soldiers of the Revolution.' ' * 

The capture of Major-General Prescott, of the Brit- 
ish army, on the 9th of July, 1777, was an occasion 
of great rejoicing throughout the country. Prince, 
the valiant negro who seized that officer, ought always 
to be remembered with honor for his important ser- 

The battle of Red Bank, and the battle of Rhode 
Island, on the 29th of August, 1778, entitle the 
blacks to perpetual honor, f 

When Colonel Green was surprised and murdered, 
near Points Bridge, New York, on 14th of May, 1781, 

* Bancroft's "History of the United States." Vol. VIL 
p. 421. 

f Moore's " Diary of the American Revolution." Vol. I. 
p. 468. 


his colored soldiers heroically defended him till they 
were cut to pieces; and the enemy reached him over 
the dead bodies of his faithful negroes. Of this last en- 
gagement, Arnold, in his "History of Rhode Island," 
says : — 

"A third time the enemy, with desperate courage 
and increased strength, attempted to assail the redoubt 
and would have carried it, but for the timely aid of two 
continental battalions despatched by Sullivan to sup- 
port his almost exhausted troops. It was in repelling 
these furious onsets, that the newly raised black regi- 
ment, under Colonel Greene, distinguished itself by 
deeds of desperate valor. Posted behind a thicket in the 
valley, they three times drove back the Hessians, who 
charged repeatedly down the hill to dislodge them ; and 
so determined were the enemy in these successive 
charges, that, the day after the battle, the Hessian 
colonel, upon whom this duty had devolved, applied 
to exchange his command, and go to New York, be- 
cause he dared riot lead his regiment again to battle, 
lest his men should shoot him for having caused them 
so much loss." 



In the war of 1812, colored men again did themselves 
honor by volunteering their services in aid of Amer- 
ican freedom, both at the North and at the South. In 
the latter section, even the slaves were invited, and 
entered the army, where their bravery was highly ap- 
preciated. The following document speaks for itself. 

< 'Head Quarters, Seventh Military District, 
Mobile, September 21, 1814. 

''To the Free Colored Inhabitants of Louisiana: 

"Through a mistaken policy, you have heretofore 
been deprived of a participation in the glorious struggle 
for national rights, in which our country is engaged. 
This no longer shall exist. 

" As sons of freedom, you are now called upon to 
defend our most inestimable blessings. As Americans, 
your country looks with confidence to her adopted 
children for a valorous support, as a faithful return for 
the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable 
government. As fathers, husbands, and brothers, you 



are summoned to rally around the standard of the 
Eagle, to defend all which is dear in existence. 

"Your country, although calling for your exertions, 
does not wish you to engage in her cause without re- 
munerating you for the services rendered. Your in- 
telligent minds are not to be led away by false repre- 
sentations — your love of honor would cause you to 
despise the man who should attempt to deceive you. 
With the sincerity of a soldier, and in the language of 
truth, I address you. 

' 'To every noble-hearted free man of color, volun- 
teering to serve during the present contest with Great 
Britain, and no longer, there will be paid the same 
bounty, in money and lands, now received by the 
white soldiers of the United States, namely — one hun- 
dred and twenty-four dollars in money, and one hun- 
dred and sixty acres of land. The non-commissioned 
officers and privates will also be entitled to the same 
monthly pay, daily rations, and clothes, furnished to 
any American soldier. 

"On enrolling yourselves in companies, the Major- 
General commanding will select officers for your gov- 
ernment, from your white fellow-citizens. Your 
non-commissioned officers will be appointed from 
among yourselves. 

"Due regard will be paid to the feelings of freemen 
and soldiers. You will not, by being associated with 
white men, in the same corps, be exposed to improper 
comparisons, or unjust sarcasm. As a distinct inde- 
pendent battalion or regiment, pursuing the path of 
glory, you will, undivided, receive the applause and 
gratitude of your countrymen. 

"To assure you of the sincerity of my intentions, 


and my anxiety to engage your invaluable services to 
our country, I have communicated my wishes to the 
Governor of Louisiana, who is fully informed as to the 
manner of enrollments, and will give you every neces- 
sary information on the subject of this address. 

"Andrew Jackson, 

"Major-General Commanding." * 

December 18th, 1814, General Jackson issued the 
following address to the colored members of his 
army : — 

"Soldiers! — When, on the banks of the Mobile, J 
called you to take up arms, inviting you to partake 
of the perils and glory of your white fellow-citizens, I 
expected much from you; for I was not ignorant that 
you possessed qualities most formidable to an invad- 
ing enemy. I knew with what fortitude you could 
endure hunger and thirst, and ajl the fatigues of a 
campaign. I knew well how you loved your native 
country, and that you, as well as ourselves, had to 
defend what man holds most dear — his parents, wife, 
children, and property. You have done more than I 
expected. In addition to the previous qualities I 
before knew you to possess, I found among you a 
noble enthusiasm, which leads to the performance of 
great things. 

"Soldiers! the President of the United States shall 
hear how praiseworthy was your conduct in the hour 
of danger, and the representatives of the American 
people will give you the praise your exploits entitle 

* Niles' Register, Vol. VII., p. 205 


you to. Your general anticipates them in applauding 
your noble ardor. 

"The enemy approaches; his vessels cover our 
lakes ; our brave citizens are united, and all contention 
has ceased among them. Their only dispute is, who 
shall win the prize of valor, or who the most glory, 
its noblest reward. 

'<By order, 

"Thomas Butler, Aid-de-camp." 

The "New Orleans Picayune,'* in an account of the 
celebration of the Battle of New Orleans, in that city, 
in 1851, says: — 

"Not the least interesting, although the most novel 
feature of the procession yesterday, was the presence 
of ninety of the colored veterans who bore a conspic- 
uous part in the dangers of the day they were now 
for the first time called to assist in celebrating, and 
who, by tbeir good conduct in presence of the enemy, 
deserved and received the approbation of their illus- 
trious commander-in-chief. During the thirty-six years 
that have passed away since they assisted to repel 
the invaders from our shores, these faithful men have 
never before participated in the annual rejoicings for 
the victory which their valor contributed to gain. 

Their good deeds have been consecrated only in their 
memories, or lived but to claim a passing notice on 
the page of the historian. Yet, who more than they 
deserve the thanks of the country, and the gratitude 
of succeeding generations? Who rallied with more 
alacrity in response to the summons of danger? 
Who endxired more cheerfully the hardships of the 


camp, or faced with greater courage the perils of the 
fight? If, in that hazardous hour, when our homes 
were menaced with the horrors of war, we did not 
disdain to call upon the colored population to assist 
in repelling the invading horde, we should not, when 
the danger is past, refuse to permit them to unite 
with us in celebrating the glorious event which they 
helped to make so memorable an epoch in our history. 
We were not too exalted to mingle with them in the 
affray; they were not too humble to join in our rejoic- 

' 'Such, we think, is the universal opinion of our 
citizens. We conversed with many yesterday, and 
without exception, they expressed approval of the invi- 
tation which had been extended to the colored vet- 
erans to take part in the ceremonies of the day, and 
gratification at seeing them in a conspicuous place in 
the procession. 

''The respectability of their appearance, and the 
modesty of their demeanor, made an impression on 
every observer and elicited unqualified approbation. 
Indeed, though in saying so we do not mean disrespect 
to any one else, we think that they constituted decid- 
edly the most interesting portion of the pageant, as 
they certainly attracted the most" attention." 

On Lakes Erie and Champlain, colored men were 
also engaged in these battles which have become his- 
torical, exhibitins; the same heroism that characterized 
them in all their previous efforts in defence of their 
country's rights. 



The demoralization which the institution entailed 
upon all classes in the community in which it existed, 
was indeed fearful to contemplate ; and we may well 
say that slavery is the curse of curses. While it made 
the victim a mere chattel, taking from him every char- 
acteristic of manhood, it degraded the mind of the 
master, brutalized his feelings, seared his conscience, 
and destroyed his moral sense. 

Immorality to a great extent, pervaded every slave- 
holding city, town, village, and dwelling in the South. 
Morality and virtue were always the exceptions. The 
Southern clergy, backed by the churches, defended 
their right to hold slaves to the last. Houses of relig- 
ious worship and the negro pen were often in sight 
of each other. 

The Southern newspapers teemed with advertise- 
ments, which were a fair index to this monstrous 
social evil. 

Now that slavery is swept away, it may be interest- 
ing to see some of these newspaper notices, in the 
light of the new dispensation of freedom. 



The New Orleans "True Delta" in 1853, graced its 
columns with the following: "Mr. Joseph Jennings 
respectfully informs his friends and the public, that, 
at the request of many of his acquaintances, he has 
been induced to purchase from Mr. Osborn, of Mis- 
souri, the celebrated dark bay horse "Star," age five 
years, square trotter, and warranted sound, with a 
new light-trotting buggy and harness; also the stout 
mulatto girl "Sarah," aged about twenty years, gen- 
eral house servant, valued at nine hundred dollars, 
and guaranteed; will be raffled for at four o'clock, 
p. m., February 1st, at any hotel selected by the sub- 

"The above is as represented, and those persons who 
may wish to engage in the usual practice of raffling 
will, I assure them, be perfectly satisfied with their 
destiny in this affair. 

"Fifteen hundred chances, at one dollar each. 

"The whole is valued at its just worth, fifteen hun- 
dred dollars. 

"The raffle will be conducted by gentlemen selected 
by the interested subscribers present. Five nights 
allowed to complete the raffle. Both of above can be 
seen at my store, No. 78 Common Street, second door 
from Camp, at from 9 o'clock, a. m., till half-past two, 
p. M. 

"Highest throw takes the first choice; the lowest 
throw the remaining prize, and the fortunate winners 
to pay twenty dollars each, for the refreshments fur- 
nished for the occasion." 

The "Picayune," of the same city, gives the follow- 


"$100 Reward. — Run away from the plantation of 
the undersigned, the negro man Shedrick, a preacher, 
five feet nine inches high, about forty years old, but 
looking not over twenty-three, stamped N. E. on the 
breast, and having both small toes cut off. He is of a 
very dark complexion, with eyes small, but bright, and 
a look quite insolent. He dresses good, and was 
arrested as a runaway at Donaldsonville, some three 
years ago. The above reward will be paid for his 
arrest, by addressing Messrs. Annan t Brotheis, St. 
James Parish, or A. Miltenberger & Co., 30 Carondalet 

A Savannah (Georgia) paper has the annexed notice. 

"Committed to prison, three weeks ago, under sus- 
picious circumstances, a negro woman, who calls her- 
self Phebe, or Phillis. Says she is free, and lately 
from Beaufort District, South Carolina. Said woman 
is about fifty years of age, stout in stature, mild- 
spoken, five feet four inches high, and weighs about 
one hundred and forty pounds. Having made diligent 
inquiry by letter, and from what I can learn, said 
woman is a runaway. Any person owning said slave 
can get her by making application to me, properly 
authenticated.' ' 

The practice of capturing runaway slaves, with 
blood-hounds trained for the purpose, during the 
days of slave rule in the South, is well known. We 
give below one of the advertisements as it appeared 
in print at the time. 

"The undersigned, having an excellent pack of 
hounds for trailing and catching runaway slaves, 
informs the public that his prices in future will be as 
follows for such services: 


For each day employed in hunting or trailing $2.50 
For catching each slave - 10.00 

For going over ten miles, and catching slaves 20.00 

"If sent for, the above prices will be exacted in cash. 
The subscriber resides one mile and a half south of 
Dadeville, Ala. 

"B. Black." 

Slavery so completely seared the conscience of the 
whites of the South, that they had no feeling of com- 
passion for the blacks, as the following illustration 
will show. At St. Louis, in the year 1835, Francis 
Mcintosh, a free colored man, while defending him- 
self from an attack of white ruffians, one of the latter 
was killed. At once the colored man was taken, 
chained to a tree, and burnt to death. One of the 
newspapers at the time gave the following account of 
the inhuman affair: — 

"All was silent as death while the executioners 
were piling wood around their victim. He said not 
a word, until feeling that the flames had seized upon 
him. He then uttered an awful howl, attempting to 
sing and pray, then hung his head, and suffered in 
silence, except in the following instance. After the 
flames had surrounded their prey, his eyes burnt out 
of his head, and his mouth seemingly parched to a 
cinder, some one in the crowd, more compassionate 
than the rest, proposed to put an end to his misery by 
shooting him, when it was replied, 'That would be of 
no use, since he was already out of pain.' 'No, no,' 
said the wretch, 'I am not, I am suffering as much as 
ever; shoot me, shoot me.' 'No, no,' said one of the 
fiends who was standing about the sacrifice they were 


roasting, 'he shall not be shot. I would sooner 
slacken the fire, if it would increase his misery;' and 
the man who said this was, as we understand, an 
officer of justice ! ' ' 

Lest this demonstration of "public opinion" should 
be regarded as a sudden impulse merely, not an index 
of the settled tone of feeling in that community, it is 
important to add, that the Hon. Luke E. Lawless, 
Judge of the Circuit Court of Missouri, at a session 
of that court in the city of St. Louis, some months 
after the burning of this man, decided officially that 
since the burning cf Mcintosh was the act, either 
directly or by countenance of a majority of the citi- 
zens, it is "a case which transcends the jurisdiction' ' 
of the Grand Jury! Thus the State of Missouri pro- 
claimed to the world that the wretches who perpe- 
trated that unspeakably diabolical murder, and the 
thousands that stood by consenting to it, were her 
representatives, and the Bench sanctified it with the 
solemnity of a judicial decision. 



An undeveloped discontent always pervaded the 
black population of the South, bond and free. Human 
bondage is ever fruitful of insurrection, wherever it 
exists, and under whatever circumstances it may be 
found. The laws forbidding either free people of 
color or slaves to assemble in any considerable num- 
bers for religious, or any other purpose, without two 
or more whites being present, and the rigorous en- 
forcemeufc of such 'laws, show how fearful the slave- 
masters were of their injured victims. 

Everything was done to make the Negro feel that 
he was not a man, but a thing; his inferiority was 
impressed upon him in all possible ways. In the 
great cities of the South, free colored ladies were not 
allowed to wear a veil in the streets, or in any public 
places. A violation of this law was visited with thirty- 
nine lashes upon the bare back. The same was in- 
flicted upon the free colored man who should be seen, 
upon the streets with a cigar in his mouth, or a walk- 
ing-stick in his hand. Both, when walking the 
streets, were forbidden to take the inside of the pave- 



ment. Punishment of fine and imprisonment was laid 
upon any found out of their houses after nine o'clock 
at night. 

An extra tax was placed upon every member of a 
free colored familv. While all these odious edicts 
were silently borne by the free colored people of 
Charleston, South Carolina, in 1822, there was a sup- 
pressed feeling of indignation, mortification, and dis- 
content, that was only appreciated by a few. Among 
the most dissatisfied of the free blacks was Denmark 
Yesey, a man who had purchased his freedom in the 
year 1800, and since that time had earned his lining 
by his trade, being a carpenter and joiner. 

In person, Vesey was tall and of spare make; in 
color, a dark mulatto; high forehead; eyes, dark 
brown; nose, long and with a Roman cast. His educa- 
tion was superior to that of his associates, and he had 
read much, especially of the condition of his own 
race, and felt deeply for them in their degraded con- 

Yesey was a native of the West Indies. Having 
been employed on shipboard by his master, Captain 
Yesey, Denmark had seen a great deal of the world, 
and had acquired a large fund of information, and was 
regarded as a leading man among the blacks. He 
had studied the Scriptures, and never lost an oppor- 
tunity of showing that they were opposed to chattel- 
slavery. He spoke freely with the slaves upon the 
subject, and often with the whites, where he found he 
could do so without risk to his own liberty. 

After resolving to incite the slaves to rebellion, he 
began taking into his confidence such persons as he 
could trust, and instructing them to gain adherents 


from among the more reliable of both bond and free. 
Peter Poyas, a slave of more than ordinary foresight 
and ability, was selected by Vesey as his lieutenant; 
and to him was committed tjie arduous duty of 
arranging the mode of attack, and of acting as the 
military leader. 

His plans showed some natural generalship; ho 
arranged the night attack; he planned the enrollment 
of a mounted troop to scour the streets; and he had 
a list of all the shops where arms and ammunition 
were kept for sale. He voluntarily undertook the 
management of the most difficult part of the enter- 
prise, — the capture of the main guard-house, — and 
had pledged himself to advance alone, and surprise 
the sentinel. He was said to have a magnetism in 
his eye, of which his confederates stood in great awe; 
if he once got his eye upon a man, there was no re- 
sisting it. 

Gullah Jack, Tom Kussell, and Ned Bennett. The 
last two were not less valuable than Peter Poyas; for 
Tom was an ingenious mechanic, and made battle- 
axes, pikes, and other instruments of death, with 
which to carry on the war. A 11 of the above were to be 
generals of brigades, and were let into all the secrets 
of the intended rising. It has long been the custom 
in Charleston for the country slaves to visit the city 
in great numbers on Sunday, and return to their 
homes in time to commence work on the following 
morning. It was therefore determined by Denmark 
to have the rising take place on Sunday. The slaves 
of nearly every plantation in the vicinity were en- 
listed, and were to take part. 

The details of the plan, however, were not rashly 


committed to the mass of the confederates ; they were 
known only to a few, and were finally to have been 
announced after the evening prayer-meeting on the 
appointed Sunday. But each leader had his own com- 
pany enlisted, and his own work marked out. When 
the clock struck twelve, all were to move. Peter 
Poyas was to lead a party ordered to assemble at 
South Bay, and to be joined by a force from James' 
Island ; he was then to march up and seize the arsenal 
and guard-house opposite St. Michael's Church, and 
detach a sufficient number to cut off all white citizens 
who should appear at the alarm posts. A second 
body of negroes, from the country and the Neck, 
headed by Ned Bennett, was to assemble on the Neck 
and seize the arsenal there. A third was to meet at 
Governor Bennett's Mills, under command of Holla, 
another leader, and, after putting the governor and 
intendant to death, to march through the city, or be 
posted at Cannon's Bridge, thus preventing the inhab- 
itants of Cannonsborough from entering the city. A 
fourth, partly from the country and partly from the 
neighboring localities in the city, was to rendezvous on 
Gadsden's Wharf, and attack the upper guard-house. 

A fifth, composed of country and Neck negroes, was 
to assemble at Bulkley's farm, two miles and a half 
from the city, seize the upper powder magazine, and 
then march down; and a sixth was to assemble at 
Denmark Vesey's, and obey his orders. A seventh 
detachment, under Gullah Jack, was to assemble in 
Boundary Street, at the head of King Street, to cap- 
ture the arms of the Neck company of militia, and to 
take an additional supply from Mr. Duquercron's 
shop. The naval stores on Mey's Wharf were also to 


be attacked. Meanwhile a horse company, consisting 
of many draymen, hostlers, and butcher boys, was to 
meet at Lightwood's Alley, and then scour the streets 
to prevent the whites from assembling. Every white 
man coming out of his own door was to be killed, 
and, if necessary, the city was to be fired in several 
places — slow match for this purpose having been pur- 
loined from the public arsenal and placed in an ac- 
cessible position." 

The secret and plan of attack, however, were in- 
cautiously divulged to a slave named Devany, belong- 
ing to Colonel Prioleau, and he at once informed his 
master's family. The mayor, on getting possession 
of the facts, called the city council together for 
consultation. The investigation elicited nothing new, 
for the slaves persisted in their ignorance of the 
matter, and the authorities began to feel that they 
had been imposed upon by Devany and his informant, 
when another of the conspirators, ' being bribed, 
revealed what he knew. Arrests after arrests were 
made, and the Mayor's Court held daily examinations 
for weeks. After several weeks of incarceration, the 
accused, one hundred and twenty in number, were 
brought to trial: thirty-four were sentenced to trans- 
portation, twenty-seven acquitted by the court, twenty- 
five discharged without trial, and thirty-five con- 
demned to death. With but two or three exceptions, 
all of the conspirators went to the gallows feeling 
that they had acted right, and died like men giving 
their lives for the cause of freedom. A report of the 
trial, written soon after, says of Denmark Vesey: — 

"For several years before he disclosed his inten- 
tions to any one, he appears to have been constantly 


and assiduously engaged in endeavoring to embitter 
the minds of the colored population against the white. 
He rendered himself perfectly familiar with all those 
parts of the Scriptures which he thought he could 
pervert to his purpose, and would readily quote them 
to prove that slavery was contrary to the laws of 
God, — that slaves were bound to attempt their eman- 
cipation, however shocking and bloody might be the 
consequences, — and that such efforts would not only 
be pleasing to the Almighty, but were absolutely 
enjoined, and their success predicted, in the Script- 
ures. His favorite texts, when he addressed those of 
his own color, were Zachariah xiv: 1-3, and Joshua 
vi: 21; and in all his conversations he identified their 
situation with that of the Israelites. 

The number of inflammatory pamphlets on slavery 
brought into Charleston from some of our sister states 
within the last four years (and once from Sierra 
Leone) , and distributed amongst the colored population 
of the city, for which there was a great facility, in con- 
sequence of the unrestricted intercourse allowed to the 
persons of color between the different states in the 
Union, and the speeches in Congress of those opposed 
to the admission of Missouri into the Union, perhaps 
garbled and misrepresented, furnished him with ample 
means for inflaming the mincls of the colored popula- 
tion of this State; and by distorting certain parts of 
those speeches, or selecting from them particular pas- 
sages, he persuaded but too many that Congress had 
actually declared them free, and that they were held 
in bondage contrary to the laws of the land. 

Even whilst walking through the streets in company 
with another, he was not idle; for if his companion 


bowed to a white person, he would rebuke him, and 
observe that all men were born equal, and that he was 
surprised that auy one would degrade himself by .such 
conduct, — that he would never cringe to the whites, 
nor ought any one who had the feelings of a man. 
When answered, 'We are slaves,' he would sarcasti- 
cally and indignantly reply, 'You deserve to remain 
slaves;' and if he were further asked, 'What can we 
do?' he would remark, 'Go and buy a spelling-book and 
read the fable of Hercules and the Wagoner,' which he 
would then repeat, and apply it to their situation. He 
also sought every opportunity of entering into conver- 
sation with white persons, when they could be over- 
heard by negroes near by, especially in grog shops; 
during which conversation, he would artfully introduce 
some bold remark on slavery; and sometimes, when, 
from the character he was conversing with, he found he 
might be still bolder, he would go so far, that, had not 
his declarations in such situations been clearly proved, 
they would scarcely have been credited. He continued 
this course until some time after the commencement of 
the last winter ; by which time he had not only obtained 
incredible influence amongst persons of color, but 
many feared him more than their owners, and, one of 
them declared, even more than his God." 

The excitement which the revelations of the trial oc- 
casioned, and the continual fanning of the flame by the 
newspapers, were beyond description. Double guard 
in the city, the country patrol on horseback and on 
foot, the watchfulness that was observed on all planta- 
tions, showed the deep feeling of fear pervading the 
hearts of the slaveholders, not only in South Carolina, 
but the fever extended to the other Southern states, 


and all seemed to feel that a great crisis had been 
passed. And indeed, their fears seem not to have 
been without ground, for a more complicated plan for 
an insurrection could scarcely have been conceived. 
And many were of opinion that the rising once 
begun, they would have taken the city and held it, and 
might have sealed the fate of slavery in the South.* 
But a more successful effort in rebellion was made in 
Southampton, Virginia, in the year 1831, at the head 
of which was Nat Turner . 

On one of the oldest and largest plantations in 
Southampton County, Virginia, owned by Benjamin 
Turner, Esq., Nat was born a slave, on the 2d of 
October, 1800. His parents were of unmixed African 
descent. Surrounded as he was by the superstition of 
the slave quarters, and being taught by his mother 
that he was born for a prophet, a preacher, and a 
deliverer of his race, it is not strange that the child 
should have imbibed the principles which were after- 
wards developed in his career. Early impressed with 
the belief that he had seen visions, and received com- 
munications direct from God, he, like Napoleon, 
regarded himself as a being of destiny. In his 
childhood Nat was of an amiable disposition; but 
circumstances in which he was placed as a slave, 
brought out incidents that created a change in his dis- 
position, and turned his kind and docile feeling into 
the most intense hatred to the white race. 

Being absent one night from his master's plantation 
without a pass, he was caught by Whitlock and Mull, 
the two district patrol ers, and severely flogged. This 
act of cruelty inflamed the young slave, and he 

* T. W. Higginson, in Atlantic Monthly, June, 1861. 


resolved upon having revenge. Getting two of the 
boys of a neighboring plantation to join him, Nat 
obtained a long rope, went out at night on the road 
through which the officers had their beat, and sta- 
tioning his companions, one on each side of the road, 
he stretched the rope across, fastening each end to a 
tree, and drawing it tight. His rope ihus fixed, and 
his accomplices instructed how to act their part, Nat 
started off up the road. The night being dark, and 
the rope only six or eight inches from the ground, the 
slave felt sure that he would give his enemies a "high 

Nat hearing them, he called out in a disguised 
voice, "Is dat you, Jim?" To this "Whitlock replied, 
"Yes, dis is me." Waiting until the white men were 
near him, Nat started off upon a run, followed by the 
officers. The boy had placed a sheet of white paper 
in the road, so that he might know at what point to 
jump the rope, so as not to be caught in his own trap. 
Arriving at the signal he sprang over the rope, and 
went down the road like an antelope. But not so 
with the white men, for both were caught by the legs 
and thrown so hard upon the ground that Mull had 
his shoulder put out of joint, and his face terribty 
lacerated by the fall; while Whitlock's left wrist was 
broken, and his head bruised in a shocking manner. 
Nat hastened home, while his companions did the 
same, not forgetting to take with them the clothes- 
line which had been so serviceable in the conflict. 
The patrolers were left on the field of battle, crying, 
swearing, and calling for help. 

Snow seldom falls as far south as the southern part 
of Virgii^n; but when it does, the boys usually have 


a good time snow-balling, and on such occasions the 
slaves, old and young, women and men, are generally 
pelted without mercy, and with no right to retaliate. 
It was only a few months after his affair with the 
patrolers, that Nat was attacked by a gang of boys, 
who chased him some distance, snow-balling with all 
their power. The slave boy knew the lads, and 
determined upon revenge. Waiting till night, he 
filled his pockets with rocks, and went into the 
street. Very soon the same gang of boys were at his 
heels, and pelting him. Concealing his face so as 
not to be known, Nat discharged his rocks in every 
direction, until his enemies had all taken to their 

The ill treatment he experienced at the hands of 
the whites, and the visions he claimed to have seen, 
caused Nat to avoid, as far as he could, all intercourse 
with his fellow-slaves, and threw around him a gloom 
and melancholy that disappeared only with his life. 

Both the young slave and his friends averred that a 
full knowledge of the alphabet came to him in a 
single night. Impressed with the. belief that his mis- 
sion was a religious one, and this impression strength- 
ened by the advice of his grandmother, a pious but 
ignorant woman, Nat commenced preaching when 
about twenty-five years of age, but never went beyond 
his own master's locality. In stature he was under 
the middle size, long-armed, round-shouldered, and 
strongly marked with the African features, A gloomy 
fire burned in his looks, and he had a melancholy 
expression of countenance. He never tasted a drop 
of ardent spirits in his life, and was never known to 
smile. In the year 1828 new visions appeared to Nat, 


and he claimeci to have direct communication with 
God. Unlike most of those born under the influence 
of slavery, he had no faith in conjuring, fortune-tell- 
ing, or dreams, and always spoke with contempt of 
such things. 

Being hired out to cruel masters, he ran away 
and remained in the woods thirty days, and could 
have easily escaped to the free states, as did his 
father some years before; but he received, as he says 
in his confession a communication from the spirit, 
which said, "Return to your earthly master, for he 
who knoweth his Master's will, and doeth it not 4 shall 
be beaten with many stripes." It w r as not the will 
of his earthly, but his heavenly Master that he felt 
bound to do, and therefore Nat returned. His fellow- 
slaves were greatly incensed at him for coming back, 
for they knew well his ability to reach Canada, or 
some other land of freedom, if he was so inclined. 

He says further: "About this time I had a vision, 
and saw white spirits and black spirits engaged in bat- 
tle, and the sun was darkened, the thunder rolled in 
the heavens, and blood flowed in streams; and I heard 
a voice saying, 'Such is your luck; such are you called 
on to see; and let it come, rough or smooth, you must 
surely bear it.' " 

Some time after this, Nat had, as he says, another 
vision, in which the spirit appeared and said, "The 
serpent is loosened, and Christ has laid down the 
yoke he has borne for the sins of men, and you must 
take it up, and fight against the serpent, for the time 
is fast approaching when the first shall be last, and 
the last shall be first." There is no doubt but that 
this last sentence filled Nat with enthusiastic feeling 


in favor of the liberty of his race, that he had so 
long dreamed of. "The last shall be first, and the 
first shall be last," seemed to him to mean something. 
He saw in it the overthrow of the whites, and the es- 
tablishing of the blacks in their stead, and to this end 
he bent the energies of his mind. In February, 1831, 
Nat received his last communication, and beheld his 
last vision. He said, "I was told I should arise and 
prepare myself, and slay my enemies with their own 

The plan of an insurrection was now formed in his 
own mind, and the time had arrived for him to take 
others into the secret; and he at once communicated 
his ideas to four of his friends, in whom he had im- 
plicit confidence. Hark Travis, Nelson Williams, Sam 
Edwards, and Henry Porter were slaves like himself, 
and like him had taken their names from their masters. 
A meeting must be held with these, and it must take 
place in some secluded place, where the whites would 
not disturb them; and a meeting was appointed. The 
spot where they assembled was as wild and romantic 
as were the visions that had been impressed upon the 
mind of their leader. 

Three miles from where Nat lived was a dark swamp 
filled with reptiles, in the middle of which was a dry 
spot, reached by a narrow, winding path, and upon 
which human feet seldom trod, on account of its hav- 
ing been the place where a slave had been tortured to 
death by a slow fire, for the crime of having flogged 
his cruel and inhuman master. The night for the 
meeting arrived, and they came together. Hark 
brought a pig; Sam, bread; Nelson, sweet potatoes, 
and Henry, brandy; and the gathering was turned 


into a feast. Others were taken in, and joined the 
conspiracy. All partook heartily of the food and 
drank freely, except Nat. He fasted and prayed. It 
was agreed that the revolt should commence that night, 
and in their own master's households, and that each 
slave should give his oppressor the death-blow. Be- 
fore they left the swamp Nat made a speech, in which 
he said, ' 'Friends and brothers: We are to commence 
a great work to-night. Our race is to be delivered 
from slavery, and God has appointed us as the men to 
do his bidding, and let us be worthy of our calling. 
I am told to slay all the whites we encounter, without 
regard to age or sex. We have no arms or ammunition, 
but we will find these in the houses of our oppressors, 
and as we go on, others can join us. Remember that 
we do not go forth for the sake of blood and carnage, 
but it is necessary that in the commencement of this 
revolution all the whites we meet should die, until we 
shall have an army strong enough to carry on the war 
upon a Christian basis. Remember that ours is not a 
war for robbery and to satisfy our passions; it is a 
struggle for freedom. Ours must be deeds, and not 
words. Then let's away to the scene of action." 

Among those who had joined the conspirators was 
Will, a slave, who scorned the idea of taking his mas- 
ter's name. Though his soul longed to be free, he 
evidently became one of the party, as much to satisfy 
revenge, as for the liberty that he saw in the dim dis- 
tance. Will had seen a dear and beloved wife sold to 
the negro-trader and taken away, never to be beheld 
by him again in this life. His own back was covered 
with scars, from his shoulders to his feet. A large 
scar, running from his right eye down to his chin, 


showed that he had lived with a cruel master. 
Nearly six feet in height, and one of the strongest and 
most athletic of his race, he proved to be the most 
unfeeling of all the insurrectionists. His only weapon 
was a broad-axe, sharp and heavy. 

Nat and his accomplices at once started for the plan- 
tation of Joseph Travis, with whom the four lived, 
and there the first blow was struck. In his confes- 
sion, just before his execution, Nat said: — 

"On returning to the house, Hark went to the door 
with an axe, for the purpose of breaking it open, as 
we knew we were strong enough to murder the family 
should they be awakened by the noise; but reflecting 
that it might create an alarm in the neighborhood, we 
determined to enter the house secretly, and murder 
them whilst sleeping. Hark got a ladder and set it 
against the chimney, on which I ascended, and hoist- 
ing a window, entered, and came down-stairs, unbarred 
the doors, and removed the guns from their places. 
It was then observed that I must spill the first blood. 
On which, armed with a hatchet, and accompanied by 
Will, I entered my master's chamber. It being dark, 
I could not give a death-blow. The hatchet glanced 
from his head; he sprang from the bed and called his 
wife. It was his last word; Will laid him dead with a 
blow of his axe, and Mrs. Travis shared the same fate 
as she lay in bed. The murder of this family, five in 
number, was the work of a moment; not one of them 
awoke. There was a little infant sleeping in a cradle, 
that was forgotten until we had left the house and gone 
some distance, when Henry and Will returned and 
killed it. We got here four guns that would shoot, and 
several old muskets, with a pound or two of powder. 


We remained for some time at the barn, where we 
paraded; I formed them in line as soldiers, and after 
carrying them through all the manoeuvres I was master 
of, marched them off to Mr. Salathiel Francis's, about 
six hundred yards distant. 

"Sam and Will went to the door and knocked. Mr. 
Francis asked who was there ; Sam replied it was he and 
he had a letter for him; on this he got up and came to 
the door; they immediately seized him, and dragging 
him oat a little from the door, he was despatched by 
repeated blows on the head. There was no other white 
person in the family. We started from there to Mrs. 
Eeese's, maintaining the most perfect silence on our 
march, where, finding the door unlocked, we entered 
and murdered Mrs. Reese in her bed while sleeping; 
her son awoke, but only to sleep the sleep of death; 
he had only time to say, 'Who is that?' and he was 
no more. 

From Mrs. Reese's we went to ' Mrs. Turner's, 
a mile distant, which we reached about sunrise, on 
Monday morning. Henry, Austin, and Sam, went to 
the still, where, finding Mr. Peebles, Austin shot 
him; the rest of us went to the house. As we ap- 
proached, the family discovered us and shut the door. 
Vain hope! Will, with one stroke of his axe, opened 
it, and we entered, and found Mrs. Turner and Mrs. 
Newsome in the middle of the room, almost frightened 
to death. Will immediately killed Mrs. Turner with 
one blow of his axe. I took Mrs. Newsome by the 
hand, and with the sword I had when apprehended, I 
struck her several blows over the head, but was not 
able to kill her, as the sword was dull. Will, turning 
round and discovering it, despatched her also. A 


general destruction of property, and search for money 
and ammunition, always succeeded the murders. 

"By this time, my company amounted to fifteen, 
nine men mounted, who started for Mrs. Whitehead's, 
(the other six were to go through a by-way to Mr. 
Bryant's,, and rejoin us at Mrs. Whitehead's). 

"As we approached the house, we discovered Mr. 
Richard Whitehead standing in the cotton patch, near 
the lane fence; we called him over into the lane, and 
Will, the executioner, was near at hand, with his 
fatal axe, to send him to an untimely grave. As we 
pushed on to the house, I discovered some one run- 
ning around the garden, and thinking it was some of 
the white family, I pursued; but finding it was a ser- 
vant girl belonging to the house, I returned to com- 
mence the work of death; but they whom I left had 
not been idle; all the family were already murdered 
but Mrs. Whitehead and her daughter Margaret. As I 
came round to the door, I saw Will pulling Mrs. 
Whitehead out of the house, and at the step he nearly 
severed her head from her body with his broadaxe. 
Miss Margaret, when I discovered her, had concealed 
herself in the corner formed by the projection of the 
cellar cap from the house; on my approach she fled, 
but was soon overtaken, and after repeated blows with 
a sword, I killed her with a blow over the head with 
a fence rail. By this time the six who had gone by 
Mr. Bryant's rejoined us, and informed me they had 
done the work of death assigned them. 

"We again divided, part going to Mr. Richard 
Porter's, and from thence to Nathaniel Francis's,, the 
others to Mr. Howell Harris's and Mr. T. Doyles's. 
On my reaching Mr. Porter's, he had escaped with his 


family. I understood there that the alarm had already 
spread, and I immediately returned to bring up those 
sent to Mr. Doyles's and Mr. Howell Harris's; the 
party I left going on to Mr. Francis's, having told 
them I would join them in that neighborhood. I met 
those sent to Mr. Doyle's and Mr. Howell Harris's 
returning, having met Mr. Doyles on the road and 
killed him. 

"Learning from some who joined them that Mr. 
Harris was from home, I immediately pursued the 
course taken by the party gone on before; but 
knowing that they would complete the work of 
death and pillage at Mr. Francis's before I could get 
there, I went to Mr. Peter Edwards's, expecting to 
find them there; but they had been there already. I 
then went to Mr. John T. Barrows's; they had been 
there and murdered him. I pursued on their track to 
Captain Newitt Harris's. I found the greater part 
mounted and ready to start; the men, now amounting 
to. about forty, shouted and hurrahed as I rode up; 
some were in the yard loading their guns, others 
drinking. They said Captain Harris and his family 
had escaped; the property in the house they destroyed, 
robbing him of money and other valuables. 

"I ordered them to mount and march instantly; this 
was about nine or ten o'clock, Monday morning. I 
proceeded to Mr. Levi Waller's, two or three miles 
distant. I took my station in the rear, and as it was 
my object to carry terror and devastation wherever 
we went, I placed fifteen or twenty of the best 
mounted and most to be relied on in front, who gen- 
erally approached the houses as fast as their horses 
could run. This was for two purposes; to prevent 


their escape, and strike terror to the inhabitants. On 
this account I never got to the houses, after leaving 
Mrs. Whitehead's, until the murders were committed, 
except in one case. I sometimes got in sight in time 
to see the work of death completed, view the man- 
gled bodies as they lay, in silent satisfaction, and 
immediately start in quest of other victims. Having 
murdered Mrs. Waller and ten children, we started 
for Mr. William Williams's. We killed him and two 
little boys that were there: while engaged in this, 
Mrs. Williams fled, and got some distance from the 
house; but she was pursued, overtaken, and compelled 
to get up behind one of the company, who brought 
her back, and after showing her the mangled body 
of her lifeless husband, she was told to get down and 
lie by his side, where she was shot dead. 

"I then started for Mr. Jacob Williams's, where the 
family were murdered. Here we found a young man 
named Drury, who had come on business with Mr. 
Williams; he was pursued, overtaken, and shot. 
Mrs. Vaughan's was the next place we visited; and 
after murdering the family here, I determined on 
starting for Jerusalem. Our number amounted now to 
fifty or sixty, all mounted and armed with guns, 
axes, swords, and clubs. On reaching Mr. James 
W. Parker's gate, immediately on the road leading 
to Jerusalem, and about three miles distant, it was 
proposed to me to call there; but I objected, as I 
knew he was gone to Jerusalem, and my object was to 
reach there as soon as possible ; but some of the men 
having relations at Mr. Parker's, it was agreed that 
they might call and get his people. 

"I remained at the gate on the road, with seven or 


eight, the others going across the field to the house, 
about half a mile off. After waiting some time for 
them, I became impatient, and started to the house 
for them, and on our return we were met by a party 
of white men, who had pursued our blood-stained 
track, and who had fired on those at the gate, and 
dispersed them, which I knew nothing of, not having 
been at that time rejoined by any of them. Imme- 
diately on discovering the whites, I ordered my men 
to halt and form, as they appeared to be alarmed. 
The white men, eighteeu in number, approached us 
within about one hundred yards, when one of them 
fired, and I discovered about half of them retreating. 
I then ordered my men to fire and rush on them; the 
few remaining stood their ground until we approached 
within fifty yards, when they fired and retreated. 

We pursued and overtook some of them, whom we 
thought we left dead; after pursuing them about two 
hundred yards, and rising a little hill, I discovered 
they were met by another party, and had halted, and 
were reloading their guns, thinking that those who 
retreated first, and the party who fired on us at fifty 
or sixty yards distant, had only fallen back to meet 
others with ammunition. As I saw them reloading 
their guns, and more coming up than I saw at first, 
and several of my bravest men being wounded, the 
others became panic-stricken, and scattered over the 
field; the white men pursued and fired on us several 
times. Hark had his horse shot under him, and I 
caught another for him that was running by me; five 
or six of my men were wounded, bat none left on the 
field. Finding myself defeated here, I instantly deter- 
mined to go through a private way, and cross th< 


Nottoway Eiver at the Cypress Bridge, three miles 
below Jerusalem, and attack that place in the rear, as 
I expected they would look for me on the other road, 
and I had a great desire to get there to procure arms 
and ammunition." 

Eeenforcements came to the whites, and the blacks 
were overpowerd and defeated by the superior num- 
bers of their enemy. In this battle many were slain 
on both sides. Will, the bloodthirst} 7 and revengeful 
slave, fell with his broad-axe uplifted, after having 
laid three of the whites dead at his feet with his own 
strong arm and his terrible weapon. His last words 
were, "Bury my axe with me;" for he religiously 
believed that in the next world the blacks would have 
a contest with the whites, and that he would need his 
axe. Nat Turner, after fighting to the last with his 
short-sword, escaped with some others to the woods 
near by, and was not captured for nearly two months. 
He had aroused the entire country by his deeds, und 
for sixty days had eluded a thousand armed men on 
his track. When taken, although half starved, and 
exhausted by fatigue, like a fox after a weary chase, 
he stood erect and dignified, proud and haughty, amid 
his captors, his sturdy, compact form, marked features, 
and flashing eye, declaring him to be every inch a 

When brought to trial, he pleaded "not guilty;" 
feeling, as he said, that it was always right for one to 
strike for his own liberty. After going through a mere 
form of trial, he was convicted and executed at Jeru- 
salem, the county seat for Southampton County, 
Virginia. Not a limb trembled nor a muscle was ob- 
served to move. Thus died Nat Turner, at the early 


age of thirty-one years — a martyr to the freeaom of 
his race, and a victim to his own fanaticism. He 
meditated upon the wrongs of his oppressed and injured 
people, till the idea of their deliverance excluded all 
other ideas from his mind, and he devoted his life to 
its realization. Everything appeared to him a vision, 
and all favorable omens were sisrus from God. That he 
was sincere in all that he professed, there is not the 
slightest doubt. After being defeated, he might have 
escaped to the free states, but the hope of raising a 
new band kept him from doing so. 

He impressed his image upon the minds of those who 
once beheld him. His looks, his sermons, his acts, 
and his heroism live in the hearts of his race, on every 
cotton, sugar, and rice plantation at the South. The 
present generation of slaves have a superstitious ven- 
eration for his name. He foretold that at his death 
the sun would refuse to shine, and that there would be 
signs of disapprobation given from Heaven. And it is 
true that the sun was darkened, a storm gathered, and 
more boisterous weather had never appeared in South- 
hampton County than on the clay of Nat's execution. 
The sheriff, warned by the prisoner, refused to cut the 
cord that held the trap. No black man would touch 
the rope. A poor old white man, long besotted by 
drink, was brought forty miles to be the executioner. 
And even the planters, with all their prejudice and 
hatred, believed him honest and sincere; for Mr. 
Gray, who had known Nat from boyhood, and to 
whom he made his confession, says of him: — 

"It has been said that he was ignorant and cowardlv, 
and that his object was to murder and rob, for the 
purpose of obtaining money to make his escape. It 


is notorious that he was never known to have a dollar 
in his life, to swear an oath, or drink a drop of spirits. 
As to his ignorance, he certainly never had the advan- 
tages of education; but he can read and write, and 
for natural intelligence and quickness of apprehension, 
is surpassed by few men I have ever seen. As to his 
being a coward, his reason, as given, for not resisting 
Mr. Phipps, shows the decision of his character. When 
he saw Mr. Phipps present his gun, he said he knew 
it was impossible for him to escape, as the woods were 
full of men ; he therefore thought it was better for him 
to surrender, and trust to fortune for his escape. 

He is a complete fanatic, or plays his part most ad- 
mirably. On other subjects he possesses an uncommon 
share of intelligence, with a mind capable of attain- 
ing anything, but warped and perverted by the influ- 
ence of early impressions. He is below the ordinary 
stature, though strong and active, having the true negro 
face, every feature of which is strongly marked. I 
shall not attempt to describe the effect of his narrative, 
as told and commented on by himself, in the condemned 
hole of the prison; the calm, deliberate composure 
with which he spoke of his late deeds and intentions; 
the expression of his fiend-like face, when excited by 
enthusiasm — still bearing the stains of the blood of 
helpless innocence about him, clothed with rags and 
covered with chains, yet daring to raise his manacled 
hands to Heaven, with a spirit soaring above the attri- 
butes of man ; I looked on him, and the blood curdled 
in my veins." 

Fifty-five whites and seventy-three blacks lost their 
lives in the Southampton rebellion. On the fatal 
7 ight when Nat and his companions were dealing death 


to all they found, Captain Harris, a wealthy planter, 
had his life saved by the devotion and timely warning 
of his slave Jim, said to have been half-brother to his 
master. After the revolt had been put down, and par- 
ties of whites were out hunting the suspected blacks, 
Captain Harris, with his faithful slave, went into the 
woods in search of the negroes. In saving his master's 
life, Jim felt that he had done his duty, and could not 
consent to become a betrayer of his race ; and on reach- 
ing the woods, he handed his pistol to his master, and 
said, "I cannot help you hunt down these men; they, 
like myself, want to be free. Sir, I am tired of the 
life of a slave; please give me my freedom, or shoot 
me on the spot." Captain Harris took the weapon and 
pointed it at the slave. Jim, putting his right hand 
npon bis heart, said, "This is the spot; aim here." 
The captain fired, and the slave fell dead at his feet. 



The vast increase of the slave population in the 
Southern States, and their frequent insurrectionary ef- 
forts, together with the fact that the whole system was 
in direct contradiction to the sentiments expressed in 
the declaration of American independence, was fast 
creating a hatred to slavery. 

The society of Friends, the first to raise a warning 
voice against the sin of human bondage, had uobly 
done its duty; and as early as 1789 had petitioned 
Congress in favor of the abolition of slavery. 

Previous to this, however, William Beorling, a 
Quaker, of Long Island, Ralph Sandiford of Philadel- 
phia, Benjamin Lay, and several others of the society 
of Friends, ha^ written brave words in behalf of negro 

Benjamin Lundy, also a member of the Society of 
Friends, commenced, in 1821, at Baltimore, the pub- 
lication of a monthly paper, called "The Genius of 
Universal Emancipation." This journal advocated 
gradual, not immediate emancipation. It had, how- 
ever, one good effect, and that was, to attract the at- 



tention of William Lloyd Garrison to the condition of 
the enslaved negro. 

Out of this interest grew "The Liberator," which 
was commenced January 1, 1831, at Boston. Two 
years later, the American Anti-slavery Society was 
organized at Philadelphia. 

After setting forth the causes which the patriots of 
the American Revolution had to induce them to throw 
off the British yoke, they nobly put forth the claim 
of the slave to his liberty. 

The document was signed hy sixty-four persons, 
among whom was William Lloyd Garrison, and John 
G. Whittier. 

The format ion of the American Anti-slavery Society 
created considerable excitement at the time, and ex- 
posed its authors to the condemnation of the servile 
pulpit and press of that period. Few, however, saw 
the great importance of such a work, and none of the 
movers in it imagined that they would live to witness 
the accomplishing of an object for which the society 
was brought into herns:. 

One of the most malignant opposers that the aboli- 
tionists had to meet, in their commencement, was the 
American Colonization Society, an organization which 
began in 1817, in the interest of the slaveholders, and 
whose purpose was to carry off to Africa the free col- 
ored people. Garrison's ' 'Thoughts on African Col- 
onization," published in 1832, had already drawn the 
teeth of this enemy of the Negro, and for which the 
society turned all its batteries against him. 

The people of the Southern States were not alone 
in the agitation, for the question had found its way 
into all of the ramifications of society in the North. 


Miss Prudence Crandall, about this time, started a 
school for colored females, in Canterbury, Connecticut, 
which was soon broken up, and Miss Crandall thrown 
into prison. 

David Walker, a colored man, residing at Boston, 
had published an appeal in behalf of his race, filled 
with enthusiasm, and well calculated to arouse the ire 
of the pro-slavery feeling of the country. 

The liberation of his slaves, by James G. Binney of 
Kentucky, and his letters to the churches, furnished 
fuel to the agitating flames. 

The free colored people of the North, especially in 
Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, were alive to 
their own interest, and were yearly holding conven- 
tions, at -^hich they would recount their grievances, 
and press their claims to equal rights with their white 

At these meetings, the talent exhibited, the able 
speeches made, and the strong appeals for justice 
which were sent forth, did very much to raise the 
blacks in the estimation of the whites generally, and 
gained for the Negroes' cause additional friends. 




In the year 1834, mob law was inaugurated in the 
free states, which extended into the years 1835-6 and 7. 

The mobbing of the friends of freedom commenced 
in Boston, in October, 1835, with an attack upon 
William Llo^d Garrison, and the ladies' Anti-slavery 
Society. This mob, made up as it was by "Gentle- 
men of property and standing," and from whom Mr. 
Garrison had to be taken to prison to save his life, 
has become disgracefully historical. 

The Boston mob was followed by one at Utica, New 
York, headed by Judge Beardsley, who broke up a 
meeting of the New York State Anti-slavery Society. 
Arthur Tappan's store was attacked by a mob in New 
York City, and his property destroyed, to the value of 
thirty thousand dollars. The Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy, 
a brave man of the State of Maine, had located at St. 
Louis, where he took the editorial charge of "The 
St. Louis Times," and in its columns nobly pleaded 
for justice to the enslaved negro. The writer of this 
was for a period of six months employed in the of- 
fice of "The Times," and knew Mr. Lovejoy well. 



Driven from St. Louis by mob law, he removed to 
Alton, Illinois. Here the spirit of slavery followed 
him, broke up his printing-press, threw it into the 
river, and murdered the heroic advocate of free speech. 

Thus this good man died; but his death raised up 
new and strong friends for the oppressed. Wendell 
Phillips visited the grave of the martyr recently, and 
gave the following description of his burial-place: — 

"Lovejoy lies buried now in the city cemetery, on 
a beautiful knoll. Near by rolls the great river. His 
resting-place is marked by an oblong stone, perhaps 
thirty inches by twenty, and rising a foot above the 
ground; on this rests a marble scroll bearing this in- 
scription : 




Jam parce sepulto. 

[Here lies Lovejoy, Spare him, now, in his grave,"] 

A more marked testimonial would not, probably, 
have been safe from insult and disfigurement, previ- 
ous to 1864. He fought his fight so far in the van, 
so much in the hottest of the battle, that not till after 
nigh thirty years and the final victory could even his 
dust be sure of quiet. 

In the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Albany, 
Utica, and many other places in the free states, the 
colored people were hunted down like wild beasts, 
and their property taken from them or destroyed. 

In the two first-named places, the churches and 
dwellings of these unoffending citizens were set on 


fire in open day, and burnt to ashes without any effort 
on the part of the authorities to prevent it. 

Even the wives and children of the colored men 
were stoned in the streets, and the school-houses 
sought out, their inmates driven away, and many of 
the children with their parents had to flee to the coun- 
try for safety. 

Such was the feeling of hate brought out in the 
North by the influence of slavery at the South. 

During this reign of terror among the colored peo- 
ple in the free states, their brethren in slavery were 
also suffering martyrdom. Free blacks were arrested, 
thrown into jail, scourged in their own houses, and if 
they made the slightest resistance, were shot down, 
hung at a lamp-post, or even burnt at the stake. 



In the month of August, 1839, there appeared in 
the newspapers a shocking story: — that a schooner, 
.going coastwise from Havana to Neuvitas, in the 
Island of Cuba, early in July, with about twenty white 
passengers, and a large number of slaves, had been 
seized by the slaves in the night time, and the pas- 
sengers and crew all murdered except two, who made 
their escape to land in an open boat. About the 20th 
of the same month, a strange craft was seen repeatedly 
on our coast, which was believed to be the captured 
Spanish coaster, in the possession of the negroes. She 
was spoken by several pilot-boats and other vessels, 
and partially supplied with water, of which she was 
very much in want. It was also said that the blacks 
appeared to have a great deal of money. The custom- 
house department and the officers of the navy were in- 
stantly aroused to go in pursuit of the ' 'pirates," as 
the unknown possessors of the schooner were sponta- 
neously called. The United States steamer Fulton, 
and several revenue cutters were dispatched, and no- 
tice given to the collectors at the various seaports. 



On the 10th of August, the "mysterious schooner' ' 
was near the shore at Culloden Point, on the east end 
of Long Island, where a part of the crew came on shore 
for water and fresh provisions, for which they paid 
with ud discriminating profuseness. Here they were 
met by Captain Green and another gentleman, who 
stated that they had in their possession a large box 
filled with gold. Shortly after, on the 26th, the ves- 
sel was espied by Captain Gedney, U. S. N., in com- 
mand of the brig Washington, employed on the coast 
survey, who despatched an officer to board her. The 
officer found a large number of negroes, and two 
Spaniards, Pedro Montez and Jose Ruiz, one of whom 
immediately announced himself as the owner of the 
negroes, and claimed his protection. The schooner was 
thereupon taken possession of by Captain Gedney. 

The leader of the blacks was pointed out by the 
Spaniards, and his name given as Joseph Cinque. He 
was a native of Africa, and one of the finest speci- 
mens of his race ever seen in this country. As soon 
as he saw that the vessel was in the hands of others, 
and all hope of his taking himself and countrymen 
back to their home land at an end, he leaped over- 
board with the agility of an antelope. The small boat 
was immediately sent after him, and for two hours 
did the sailors strive to capture him before they suc- 
ceeded. Cinque swam and dived like an otter, first 
upon his back, then upon his breast, sometimes his 
head out of water, and sometimes his heels out. His 
countrymen on board the captured schooner seemed 
much amused at the chase, for they knew Cinque well, 
and felt proud of the untamableness of his nature. 
After baffling them for a time, he swam towards the 


vessel, was taken on board, and secured with the rest 
of the blacks, and they were taken into New London, 

The schooner proved to be the Amistad, Captain 
Eamon Ferrer, from Havana, bound to Principe, about 
one hundred leagues distant, with fifty-four negroes 
held as slaves, and two passengers. The Spaniards 
said, that after being out four days, the negroes rose 
in the night and killed the captain and a mulatto 
cook; that the helmsman and another sailor took to 
the boat and went on shore; that the only two whites 
remaining were the said passengers, Montez and Euiz, 
who were confined below until morning; that Montez 
the elder, who had been a sea-captain, was required to 
steer the ship for Africa; that he steered easterly in 
the day-time, because the negroes could tell his course 
by the sun, but put the vessel about in the night. 
They boxed about some days in the Bahama Channel, 
and were several times near the Islands, but the 
negroes would not allow her to enter any port. Once 
they were near Long Island, but then put out to sea 
again, the Spaniards all the while hoping they might 
fall in with some ship of war that would rescue them 
from their awkward situation. One of the Spaniards 
testified that when the rising took place, he was 
awaked by the noise, and that he heard the captain 
order the cabin boy to get some bread and throw it to 
the negroes, in hope to pacify them. Cinque, how- 
ever, the leader of the revolt, leaped on deck, seized 
a capstan bar, and attacked the captain, whom he killed 
at a single blow, and took charge of the vessel; his 
authority being acknowledged by his companions, who 
knew him as a prince in his native land. 


After a long litigation in the courts, the slaves were 
liberated and sent back to their native land. 

In the following year, 1840, the brig Creole, laden 
with slaves, sailed from Richmond, bound for New 
Orleans; the slaves mutinied, took the vessel, and car- 
ried her into the British West Indies, and thereby 
became free. The hero on this occasion was Madison 



The resolute and determined purpose of the South- 
erners to make the institution of slavery national, 
and the equally powerful growing public sentiment at 
the North to make freedom universal, showed plainly 
that the nation was fast approaching a crisis on this 
absorbing question. In Congress, men were compelled 
to take either the one or the other side, and the 
debates became more fiery, as the subject progressed. 

John P. Hale led in the Senate, while Joshua JR. 
Giddings was the acknowledged leader in the House 
of Representatives in behalf of freedom. On the part 
of slavery, the leadership in the Senate lay between 
Foot of Mississippi, and McDuffie of South Carolina; 
while Henry A. Wise, followed by a ravenous pack 
watched over the interest of the ' 'peculiar institution" 
in the House. 

The early adoption of the famous "Gag Law," 
whereby all petitions on the subject of slavery were to 
be "tabled" without discussion, instead of helping 
the Southern cause, brought its abettors into contempt. 



In the House, Mr. Giddings was censured for offering 
resolutions in regard to the capture of the brig Creole. 

Mr. Giddings resigned, went home, was at once re- 
elected, and returned to Congress to renew the contest. 
An attempt to expel John Quincy Adams, for present- 
ing a petition from a number of persons held in slav- 
ery, was a failure, and from which the friends of the 
negro took fresh courage. 

In the South, the Legislatures were enacting laws 
abridging the freedom of speech and of the press, and 
making it more difficult for Northerners to travel in 
the slave states. Rev. Charles T. Torry was in the 
Maryland Penitentiary for aiding slaves to escape, and 
Jonathan Walker had been branded with a red-hot 
iron, and sent home for the same offence. The free 
colored people of the South were being persecuted 
in a manner hitherto unknown in that section. Amid 
all these scenes, there was a moral contest going on 
at the North. The Garrison abolitionists, whose head- 
quarters were in Boston, were at work with a zeal 
which has scarcely ever been equalled by any associ- 
ation of men and women. 

"The Liberator," Mr. Garrison's own paper, led the 
vanguard; while the "National Anti-slavery Stand- 
ard," edited at times by Oliver Johnson, Lydia Maria 
Child, David Lee Child, and Sydney Howard Gay, 
gave no uncertain sound on the slavery question. 

The ladies connected with this society, headed by 
Maria Weston Chapman, held an annual fair, and raised 
funds for the prosecution of the work of changing pub- 
lic sentiment, and otherwise aiding the anti-slavery 
movement. Lecturing agents were kept in the field 
the year round, or as far as their means would permit. 


A few clergymen had already taken ground against the 
blood-stained sin, and were singled out by both pulpit 
and press, as marks for their poisoned arrows. The 
ablest and most ultra of these, was Theodore Parker, 
the singularly gifted and truly eloquent preacher of the 
28th Congregational Society of Boston. Thomas 
Wentworth Higginson, though younger and later in the 
cause, was equally true, and was amongst the first to 
invite anti-slavery lecturers to his pulpit. The writer 
of this, a negro, at his invitation occupied his desk 
at Newburyport, when it cost something to be an abo- 

Brave men of other denominations, in different sec- 
tions of the country, were fast taking their stand with 
the friends of the slave. 

The battle in Congress was raging hotter and hotter. 
The Florida war, the admission of Texas, and the war 
against Mexico, had given the slaveholders a bold 
front, and they wielded the political lash without the 
least mercy or discretion upon all who offended them. 
Greater protection for slave property in the free states 
was demanded by those who saw their human chattels 

The law of 1793, for the recapture of fugitive slaves, 
was now insufficient for the great change in public 
opinion, and another code was asked for by the South. 
On the 18th of September, 1850, the Fugitive Slave 
Bill was passed, and became the law of the land. 

This was justly condemned by good men of all 
countries, as the most atrocious enactment ever passed 
by any legislative body. The four hundred thousand 
free colored residents in the non slave-holding states, 


were liable at any time to be seized under this law 
and carried into servitude. 

Intense excitement was created in every section of 
the free states where any considerable number of col- 
ored persons resided. In Pennsylvania, New York, and 
Ohio, where there were many fugutives and descend- 
ants of former slaves, the feeling rose to fever-heat. 
Every railroad leading toward Canada was thronged 
with blacks fleeing for safety. In one town in the 
State of New York, every member of a Methodist 
Church, eighty-two in number, including the pastor, 
fled to Canada. 

The passage of the Fugitive Slave Bill was a sad 
event to the colored citizens of this State. At that 
time there were eight thousand nine hundred and sev- 
enty-five persons of color in Massachusetts. In thirty- 
six hours after the passage of the bill was known here, 
five and thirty colored persons applied to a well- 
known philanthropist in this city for counsel. Before 
sixty hours passed by, more than forty had fled. The 
laws of Massachusetts could not be trusted to shelter 
her own children; they must flee to Canada.* 

Numbers of these fugitives had escaped many years 
before, had married free partners, had acquired prop- 
erty, and had comfortable homes; these were broken 
up and their members scattered. Soon after the law 
went into force, the kidnappers made their appearance 
in Boston. 

The fact that men-stealers were prowling about the 
streets, through which, eighty years before, the ene- 
mies of liberty had been chased, caused no little sen- 

* "Rendition of Thomas Simms." Theodore Parker, p. 
20, 1852. 


sation amongst all classes, and when it was understood 
that William Craft and his beautiful quadroon wife 
were the intended victims, the excitement increased 
fearfully. These two persons had escaped from Macon, 
in the State of Georgia, a year and a half before. The 
man was of unmixed negro, the woman, nearly white. 
Their mode of escape was novel. The wife, attired as 
a gentleman, attended by her husband as a slave, took 
the train for the North, and arrived in Philadelphia, 
after a journey of two days; part of which was made 
on steamboats. The writer was in the Quaker City 
at the time of their arrival, and was among the first 
to greet them. Many exciting incidents occurred dur- 
ing the passage to the land of freedom, which gave 
considerable notoriety to the particular case of the 
Crafts, and the slave-catchers were soon marked men. 

After many fruitless attempts to have the fugitives 
arrested, Hughs and his companions returned to the 
South; while Craft and his wife fled to England. 

Boston was not alone in her commotion ; Daniel had 
been arrested at Buffalo, and taken before Henry K. 
Smith, a drunken commissioner, and remanded to hi3 
claimant; Hamlet was captured by the kidnappers in 
New York city, and Jerry was making his name fa- 
mous by his arrest at Syracuse, in the same state. 

The telegrams announcing these events filled the 
hearts of the blacks with sad emotions, and told the 
slave-holders that the law could be executed. News 
soon came from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and other 
states, of the arrest and rendition of persons claimed as 
slaves, many of whom were proven to be free-born. 
Boston was not permitted to remain long ere she again 
witnessed the reappearance of the negro -catcher. 


A colored man named Shadrach was claimed as a 
slave; he was arrested, put in prison, and the kidnap- 
pers felt that for once they had a sure thing. Boston, 
however, was a strange place for a human being to be 
in a dungeon for wanting to be free ; and Shadrach was 
spirited away to Canada, no one knew how. The men 
of Boston who traded largely with the South, felt that 
their city was in disgrace in not being able to execute 
the Fugitive Slave Bill, and many of them wished 
heartily for another opportunity. 

So, on the night of the third of April, 1851, Thomas 
Simms was arrested, and after a trial which became 
historical, was sent back into slavery, to the utter dis- 
grace of all concerned in his return. 

Next came the rendition of Anthony Burns, a Baptist 
clergyman, who was arrested at the instance of Charles 
F. Suttle, of Virginia. The commissioner before whom 
the case was tried was Ellis Greely Loring. This 
trial excited even more commotion thaii did the return 
of Simms. A preacher in fetters because he wanted 
to be free was a new thing to the people of Boston. 

During the progress of the hearing, the feeling ex- 
tended to the country towns, and nearly every train 
coming in brought large numbers of persons anxious 
to behold the new order of things. To guard against 
the possibility of a rescue, the building in which the 
commissioner did his work was in chains. Burns was 
delivered to Suttle, and the Union was once more safe. 

The Boston Court House in chains, two hundred 
rowdies and thieves sworn in as special policemen, 
respectable citizens shoved off the sidewalks by these 
slave-catchers, all for the purpose of satisfying "our 
brethren of the South. " 


But this act did not appease the feelings or satisfy 
the demands of the slave-holders, while it still further 
inflamed the fire of abolitionism. 

The "Dred Scott Decision" added fresh combusti- 
bles to the smouldering heap. Dred Scott, a slave, 
taken by his master into free Illinois, and then beyond 
the line of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes, and then 
back into Missouri, sued for and obtained his freedom, 
on the ground that having been taken where, by the 
Constitution, slavery was illegal, his master lost all 

But the Supreme Court, on appeal, reversed the 
judgment, and Dred Scott, with his wife and children, 
was taken back into slavery. 



Caste, the natural product of slavery, did not stop 
at the door of the sanctuary, as might be presumed that 
it would, but entered all, or nearly all, of the Christian 
denominations of our country, and in some instances 
even pursued the negro to the sacramental altar. All 
churches had their "Negro-pew," where there were any 
blacks to put into them. This was the custom at the 
South, and it was the same at the North. 

As the religion of the country was fashioned to suit 
the public sentiment, which was negro-hating in its 
character, the blacks of the United States would have 
formed a poor idea of the Christian religion in its 
broadest sense, had not an inward monitor told them 
that there was still something better. 

The first step towards the enjoyment of religious 
freedom was taken by the colored people of Philadel- 
phia. This was caused by the unkind treatment of 
their white brethren, who considered them a nuisance 
in their houses of worship, where they were pulled off 
their knees while in the act of prayer, and ordered to 
the back seats. From these and other acts of unchris- 



tian conduct, the blacks considered it their duty to 
devise means of having a house for religious worship, 
of their own. Therefore, in November, 1787, they 
seceded from the Methodist Church, in Philadelphia, 
formed a society, built a house to meet in, and set up 
for themselves. 

Although the whites considered the blacks as in- 
truders in their churches, they were, nevertheless, 
unwilling to allow them to worship by themselves, 
unless they should have the privilege of furnishing 
their sable brethren with preachers. The whites de- 
nied the blacks the right of taking the name of Meth- 
odist without their consent, and even went so far as to 
force their white preachers into the pulpits of the 
colored people on Sundays. The law, however, had 
more justice in it than the Gospel; and it stepped in 
between the blacks and their religious persecutors, and 
set the former free. 

In 1793, Rev. Richard Allen built a church for his 
people in Philadelphia, and henceforth their religious 
progress was marvellous. In 1816, Richard Allen was 
ordained Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal 
Church; Morris Brown was ordained a bishop in 
1828; Edward Waters in 1836; and William P. Quinn 
in 1844. These were known as the Bethel Methodists. 
About the same time, the colored Christians of New 
York, feeling the pressure of caste, which weighed 
heavily upon them, began to sigh for the freedom 
enjoyed by their brethren in the City of Brotherly 
Love; and in 1796, under the lead of Francis Jacobs, 
William Brown, and William Miller, separated from 
their white brethren, and formed a church, now known 
as the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. This 


branch of seceders equalled in prosperity their brethren 
in Philadelphia. 

The first annual conference of these churches was 
held in the city of Baltimore, in April, 1818. The 
example set by the colored ministers of Philadelphia 
and New York was soon followed by their race in 
Baltimore, Richmond, Boston, Providence, and other 
places. These independent religious movements were 
not confined to the sect known as Methodists, but 
the Baptists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians were 
permitted to set up housekeeping for themselves. 

The Episcopalians, however, in New York and 
Philadelphia, had to suffer much, for they were com- 
pelled to listen to the preacher on Sunday who would 
not recognize them on Monday. The settlement of the 
Revs. Peter Williams at New York, and William 
Douglass at Philadelphia, seemed to open a new era to 
the blacks in those cities, and the eloquence of these 
two divines gave the members of that sect more liberty 
throughout the country. In the Southern States, the 
religious liberty of the blacks was curtailed far more 
than at the North. The stringent slave-law, which 
punished the negro for being found outside of his 
master's premises after a certain time at night, was 
construed so as to apply to him in his going to and 
from the house of God; and the poor victim was often 
flogged for having been found out late, while he was 
on his way home from church. 

These laws applied as well to the free blacks as to 
the slaves, and frequently the educated colored preacher 
had his back lacerated with the "cat-o'-nme-tails" 
within an hour of his leaving the pulpit. 

In all of the slave states laws were early enacted 


regulating the religious movements of the blacks, and 
providing that no slave or free coloied person should 
be allowed to preach. The assembling of blacks for 
religious worship was prohibited, unless three or more 
white persons were present. 



The year 1859 will long be memorable for the bold 
attempt of John Brown and his companions to burst 
the bolted door of the Southern house of bondage, 
and lead out the captives by a more effectual way than 
they had yet known; an attempt in which, it is true, 
the little band of heroes dashed themselves to bloody 
death, but, at the same time, shook the prison walls 
from summit to foundation, and shot wild alarm into 
every tyrant heart in all the slave-land. What were 
the plans and purposes of the noble old man is not 
precisely known, and perhaps will never be; but 
whatever they were, there is reason to believe they 
had been long maturing, — brooded over silently and 
secretly, with much earnest thought, and under a 
solemn sense of religious duty. 

Of the five colored men who were with the hero 
at the attack on Harper's Ferry, only two, Shields 
Green and John A. Copeland, were captured alive. 
The first of these was a native of South Carolina, 
having been born in the city of Charleston, in the 
year 1832. Escaping to the North in 1857, he re- 



sided in Kochester, New York, until attracted by the 
unadorned eloquence and native magnetism of John 

Shields Green was of unmixed blood, good counte- 
nance, bright eye, and small in figure. One of his 
companions in the Harper's Ferry fight, says of 
Green, "He was the most inexorable of all our party; 
a very Turco in his hatred against the stealers of men. 
Wiser and better men no doubt there were, but a 
braver man never lived than Shields Green." * 

He behaved with becoming coolness and heroism at 
his execution, ascending the scaffold with a firm, un- 
wavering step, and died as he had lived, a brave man, 
expressing to the last his eternal hatred to human 
bondage, prophesying that slavery would soon come 
to a bloody end. 

John A. Copeland was from North Carolina, and 
was a mulatto of superior abilities, and a genuine lover 
of liberty and justice. He died as became one who 
had linked his fate with that of the hero of Harper's 

* "A Voice from Harper's Ferry." O. P. Anderson. 



The assault on Fort Sumter on the 12th of April, 
1861, was the dawn of a new era for the Negro. Tho 
proclamation of President Lincoln, calling for the first 
seventy-five thousand men to put down the Rebellion, 
was responded to by the colored people throughout the 
country. In Boston, at a public meeting of the blacks 
a large number came forward, put their names to an 
agreement to form a brigade, and march at once to 
the seat of war. A committee waited on the Governor 
three days later, and offered the services of these men. 
His Excellency replied that he had no power to receive 
them. This was the first wet blanket thrown over the 
negro's enthusiasm. "This is a white man's war," 
said most of the public journals. "I will never fight 
by the side of a nigger," was heard in every quarter 
where men were seen in Uncle Sam's uniform. 

Wherever recruiting offices were opened, black men 
offered themselves, and were rejected. Yet these 
people, feeling conscious that right would eventually 
prevail, waited patiently for the coining time, pledging 
themselves to go at their country's call. 



While the country seemed drifting to destruction, 
and the administration without a policy, the heart of 
every loyal man was made glad by the appearance of 
the proclamation of Major-General John C. Fremont, 
then in command at the West. The following extract 
from that document, which at the time caused so much 
discussion, will bear insertion here: — 

"All persons who shall be taken with arms in their 
hands within these lines, shall be tried by court- 
martial; and if found guilty, will be shot. The 
property, real and personal, of all persons in the State 
of Missouri, who shall take up arms against the United 
States, or who shall be directly proven to have taken 
active part with their enemies in the field, is declared 
to be confiscated to the public use, and their slaves, if 
any they have, are hereby declared free men." 

The above was the first official paper issued after the 
commencement of the war, that appeared to have the 
ring of the right kind of mettle. 

Without waiting for instructions from the capital, 
General Fremont caused manumission papers to be 
issued to a number of slaves, commencing with those 
owned by Thomas L. Snead, of St. Louis. This step 
taken by the brave Fremont was followed by a similar 
movement of General Hunter, then stationed in South 
Carolina. President Lincoln, however, was persuaded 
to annul both of the above orders. 

In the month of June, 1861, the schooner S. J. 
Waring, from New York, bound to South America, 
was captured on the passage by the rebel privateer Jeff 
Davis, a prize-crew put on board, consisting of a 
captain, mate, and four seamen, and the vessel set sail 
for the port of Charleston, South Carolina. Three of 


the original crew were retained on board, a German as 
steersman, a Yankee, who was put in irons, and a black 
man named William Tillman, the steward and cook of 
the schooner. The latter was put to work at his usual 
business, and told that he was henceforth the property 
of the Confederate States, and would be sold on his 
arrival at Charleston as a slave. 

Night comes on; darkness covers the sea; the vessel 
is gliding swiftly towards the South; the rebels, one 
after another, retire to their berths ; the hour of mid- 
night approaches ; all is silent in the cabin ; the captain 
is asleep; the mate, who has charge of the watch, takes 
his brandy toddy, and reclines upon the quarter-deck. 
The negro thinks of home and all its endearments; he 
sees in the dim future chains and slavery. 

He resolves, and determines to put the resolution 
into practice upon the instant. Armed with a heavy 
club, he proceeds to the captain's room. He strikes 
the fatal blow. He next goes to the adjoining room; 
another blow is struck, and the black man is master of 
the cabin. Cautiously he ascends to the deck, strikes the 
mate. The officer is wounded, but not killed. He 
draws his revolver, and calls for help. The crew are 
aroused; they are hastening to aid their commander. 
The negro repeats his blows with the heavy club; the 
rebel falls dead at Tillman's feet. The African seizes 
the revolver, drives the crew below deck, orders the 
release of the Yankee, puts the enemy in irons, and 
proclaims himself master of the vessel. 

Five days more, and the "S. J. Waring" arrives in 
the port of New York, under the command of William 
Tillman, the negro patriot. 

The brave exploit of Tillman had scarcely ceased 


being the topic of conversation, ere the public were 
again startled by the announcement that Eobert Small, 
a slave, had escaped with the steamer Planter from 
Charleston, South Carolina. This event was commu- 
nicated to the Secretary of War, by Commodore 

Up to this time, the services of colored men in the 
war had not been recognized; however, soon after 
Major-General B. F. Butler accepted and acknowledged 
their services in Louisiana. 

It is probably well known that the free colored 
population of New Orleans, in intelligence, public 
spirit, and material wealth, surpass those of the same 
class in any other city of the Union. Many of these 
gentlemen have been highly educated, have travelled 
extensively in this and foreign countries, speak and 
read the French, Spanish, and English languages 
fluently, and in the Exchange Kooms, or at the Stock 
Boards, wield an influence at any time fully equal to 
the same number of white capitalists. Before the war, 
they represented in that city alone fifteen millions of 
property, and were heavily taxed to support the schools 
of the State, but were not allowed to claim the least 
benefit therefrom. 

These gentlemen, representing so much intelligence, 
culture, and wealth, and who would, notwithstanding 
the fact that they all have negro blood in their veins, 
adorn any circle of society in the North, who would be 
taken upon Broadway for educated and wealthy Cuban 
planters, rather than free negroes, although many of 
them have themselves held slaves, have always been 
loyal to the Union; and, when New Orleans seemed in 
danger of being recaptured by the rebels under General 


Magruder, these colored men rose en masse, closed 
their offices and stores, armed and organized themselves 
into six regiments, and for six weeks abandoned their 
business, and stood ready to fight for the defence of 
New Orleans, while at the same time not a single white 
regiment from the original white inhabitants was raised. 



In 1862 slavery was abolished in the District of 
Columbia, the honor of which in the main belongs to 
Henry Wilson, Senator from Massachusetts. 

"With the abolition of slavery in the District of 
Columbia, commenced a new era at our country's 
capital. The representatives of the governments of 
Hayti and Liberia had both long knocked in vain to be 
admitted with the representatives of other nations. 
The slave power had always succeeded in keeping them 
out. But a change had now come over the dreams of 
the people, and Congress was but acting up to this new 
light in passing the bill admitting the representatives 
of the black republics. 

As we have before stated, the slave-trade was still 
being carried on between the Southern States and 
Africa. Ships were fitted out in the Northern ports 
for the purpose of carrying on this infernal traffic. 
And although it was prohibited by an act of Congress, 
none had ever been convicted for dealing in slaves. 
The new order of things was to give these trafficers a 
trial, and test the power by which they had so long 



dealt in the bodies and souls of men whom they had 
stolen from their native land. 

One Nathaniel Gordon was already in prison in 
New York, and his trial was fast approaching. It 
came, and he was convicted of piracy in the United 
States District Court in the city of New York; the 
piracy consisting in having fitted out a slaver, and 
shipped nine hundred Africans at Congo River, with 
a view to selling them as slaves. The same man had 
been tried for the same offence before; but the jury 
failed to agree, and he accordingly escaped punishment 
for the time. Every effort was made which the in- 
genuity of able lawyers could invent, or the power of 
money could enforce, to save this miscreant from 
the gallows ; but all in vain ; for President Lincoln 
utterly refused to interfere in any way whatever, and 
Gordon was executed on the 7th of February. 

This blow appeared to give more offence to the 
commercial Copperheads than even the emancipation of 
the slaves in the District of Columbia; for it struck an 
effectual blow at a very lucrative branch of commerce, 
in which the New Yorkers were largely interested. 
Thus it will be seen that the nation was steadily moving 
on to the goal of freedom. 

In September, 1862, the colored people of Cincinnati, 
Ohio, organized the "Black Brigade," and rendered 
eminent service in protecting that city from the raids 
of John Morgan and other brigands. 

On the first of January, 1863, President Lincoln put 
forth his Emancipation Proclamation, as follows: — 

"Whereas, On the 22d day of September, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 


sixty-three, a proclamation was issued by the President 
of the United States, containing, among other things, 
the following; to wit: 

' 'That, On the first day of January, in the year of 
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, 
all persons held as slaves within any State or any 
designated part of a State, the people whereof shall 
then be in rebellion against the United States, shall 
be then, henceforward, and forever, free; and the 
Executive Government of the United States, including 
the military and naval force thereof, will recognize 
and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do 
no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, 
in any effort they may make for their actual freedom ; 
that the Executive will, on the first day of January 
aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and 
parts of States, if any, in which the people therein 
respectively shall then be in rebellion against the 
United States; and the fact that any State or people 
thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented 
in the Congress of the United States by members 
chosen thereto, at elections wherein a majority of the 
qualified voters of such States shall have participated, 
shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, 
be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the 
people thereof are not then in rebellion against the 
United States. 

"Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of 
the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested, 
as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the 
United States in times of actual rebellion against the 
authorities and government of the United States, and 
as a fit and necessary war-measure for suppressing this 


rebellion, do on this, the first day of January, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty- 
three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do, 
publicly proclaimed for the full period of oue hundred 
days from the date of the first above-mentioned order, 
designate as the States and parts of .States wherein 
the people thereof, respectively, are this day in rebellion 
against the United States. The following, to wit: — 

"Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, 
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and 

"Louisiana (except the parishes of Placqucmines, 
St. Mary, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, 
Ascension, Assumption, Tcrre Bonne, Lafourche, 
St. Bernard, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the 
city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, 
Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, 
except the forty-eight counties designated as West 
Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, 
Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, 
and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Ports- 
mouth, which excepted parts are for the present left 
precisely as if this proclamation were not made. 

"And by virtue of the power, for the purpose 
aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held 
as slaves within said designated States and parts of 
States are, and henceforward shall be, free; and the 
Executive Government of the United States, including 
the military and naval authorities thereof, will recog- 
nize and maintain the freedom of such persons. 

"And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared 
to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in 
necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them, that. 


in all cases where allowed, they labor faithfully for 
reasonable wages. 

"And I further declare and make known, that such 
persons, if in suitable condition, will be received into 
the armed service of the United States, to garrison 
forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man 
vessels of all sorts in said service. And upon this, 
sincerely believed to be an act of justice warranted by 
the constitution, and upon military necessity, I invoke 
the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious 
favor of Almighty God. 

"In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand, 
and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. 

"Done at the city of Washington, this first day of 
January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of 
the United States of America the eighty-seventh. 

(Signed) "Abraham Lincoln.' * 



Attorney- General Bates had already given his 
opinion with regard to the citizenship of the negro, 
and that opinion was in the black man's favor. The 
Emancipation Proclamation was only a prelude to 
calling on the colored men to take up arms, and the 
one soon followed the other; for the word "Emancipa- 
tion" had scarcely gone over the wires,- ere Adjutant- 
General Thomas made his appearance in the valley of 
the Mississippi, At Lake Providence, Louisiana, he 
met a large wing of the army, composed of volunteers 
from all parts of the country, and proclaimed to them 
the new policy of the administration. 

The Noithern regiments statiooed at the South, or 
doing duty in that section, had met with so many 
reverses on the field of battle, and had been so inhu- 
manly treated by the rebels, both men and women, that 
the new policy announced by Adjutant-General Thomas 
at Lake Providence and other places, was received with 
great favor, especially when the white soldiers heard 
from their immediate commanders that the freedmen 
when enlisted would be employed in doing fatigue-duty, 



when not otherwise needed. The slave, regarding the 
use of the musket as the only means of securing his 
freedom permanently, sought the nearest place of en- 
listment with the greatest speed. 

The appointment of men from the ranks of the white 
regiments over the blacks caused the former to feel still 
more interest in the new levies. The position taken 
by Major-General Hunter, in South Carolina, and his 
favorable reports of the capability of the freedmen for 
military service, and the promptness with which that 
distinguished scholar and Christian gentleman, Thomas 
Wentworth Higginson, accepted the colonelcy of the 
First South Carolina, made the commanding of negro 
regiments respectable, and caused a wish on the part 
of white volunteers to seek commissions over the 

The new regiments filled up rapidly; the recruits 
adapted themselves to their new condition with a zeal 
that astonished even their friends ; and their proficiency 
in the handling of arms, with only a few days' train- 
ing, set the minds of their officers at rest with regard 
to their future action. 

On the 7th of June, 1863, the first regular battle 
was fought between the blacks and whites in the valley 
of the Mississippi. The planters had boasted, that, 
should they meet their former slaves, a single look 
from them would cause the negroes to throw down 
their weapons, and run. Many Northern men, espe- 
cially Copperheads, professed to believe that such 
would be the case. Therefore, all eyes were turned 
to the far-off South, the cotton, sugar, and rice-grow- 
ing States, to see how the blacks would behave on the 
field of battle ; for it is well known that the most 


ignorant of the slave population belonged in that sec- 

The first intimation that the commanding officer at 
Milliken's Bend received was from one of the black 
men, who went into the colonel's tent, and said, 
' 'Massa, the secesh are in camp. ' ' The colonel ordered 
him to have the men load their guns at once. He 
instantly replied, — 

"We have done did dat now, massa." Before the 
colonel was ready, the men were in line, ready for 

"The enemy charged us so close that we fought 
with our bayonets, hand to hand. I have six broken 
bayonets to show how bravely my men fought," said 
the colonel. "I can truly say," continued he, "that 
I never saw a braver company of men in my life. 

"Not one of them offered to leave his place until 
ordered to fall back. I went down to the hospital, 
three miles, to-day, to see the wounded. Nine of 
them were there, two having died of their wounds. 
A boy who had cooked for me came and begged a 
gun when the rebels were advancing, and took his 
place with the company; and when we retook the 
breastworks, I found him badly wounded, with one 
gun-shot and two bayonet wonnds. A new recruit I 
had issued a gun to the day before the fight was found 
dead, with a firm grasp on his gun, the bayonet of 
which was broken in three pieces. So they fought 
and died, defending the cause that we revere. They 
met death coolly, bravely; not rashly did they expose 
themselves, but all were steady and obedient to 

This battle satisfied the slave-masters of the South 


that their charm was gone; and that the negro, as a 
slave, was lost forever. Yet there was one fact con- 
nected with the battle of Milliken's Bend which will 
descend to posterity, as testimony against the human- 
ity of slave-holders; and that is, that no negro was 
ever found alive that was taken a prisoner by the 
rebels in this fight. 

The next engagement which the blacks had, was up 
the St. Mary's River, South Carolina, under the com- 
mand of Colonel T. W. Higginson. Here, too, the 
colored men did themselves and their race great credit. 

We now come to the battle of Port Hudson, in which 
the black forces consisted of the First Louisiana, under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Bassett, and the Third Louisiana, 
under Colonel Nelson. The line-officers of the Third 
were white; and the regiment "was composed mostly of 
freedmen, many of whose backs still bore the marks of 
the lash, and whose brave, stout hearts beat high at the 
thought that the hour had come when they were to 
meet their proud and unfeeling oppressors. 

The First was the noted regiment called "The Na- 
tive Guard," which General Butler found when he 
entered New Orleans, and which so promptly offered 
its services to aid in crushing the Rebellion. The 
line-officers of this regiment were all colored, taken 
from amongst the most wealthy and influential of the 
free colored people of New Orleans. It was said that 
not one of them was worth less than twenty-five thou- 
sand dollars. The brave, the enthusiastic, and the 
patriotic, found full scope for the development of their 
powers in this regiment, of which all were well edu- 
cated; some were fine scholars. One of the most 
efficient officers was Captain Andre Callioux, a man 


whose identity with his race could not be mistaken. 
This regiment petitioned their commander to allow 
them to occupy the post of danger in the battle, and 
it was granted. 

As the moment of attack drew near, the greatest 
suppressed excitement existed; but all were eager for 
the fight. Captain Callioux walked proudly up and 
down the line, and smilingly greeted the familiar 
faces of his company. Officers and privates of the 
white regiments looked on as they saw these men at 
the front, and asked each other what they thought 
would be the result. Would these blacks stand fire ? 
Was not the test by which they were to be tried too 
severe? Colonel Nelson being called to act as briga- 
dier-general, Lieutenant-Colonel Finnegas took his 
place. The enemy in his stronghold felt his power, 
and bade defiance to the expected attack. At last the 
welcome word was given, and our men started. The 
enemy opened a blistering fire of ■ shell, canister, 
grape, and musketry. The first shel] thrown by the 
enemy killed and wounded a number of the blacks; 
but on they went. "Charge" was the word. 

At every pace, the column was thinned by the fall- 
ing dead and wounded. The blacks closed up steadily 
as their comrades fell, and advanced within fifty paces 
of where the rebels were working a masked battery, 
situated on a bluff where the guns could sweep the 
whole field over which the troops must charge. This 
battery was on the left of the charging line. Another 
battery of three or four guns commanded the front, 
and six heavy pieces raked the right of the line as it 
formed, and enfiladed its flank and rear as it charged 
on the bluff. It was ascertained that a bayou ran 


under the bluff where the guns lay, — a bayou deeper 
than a man could ford. This charge was repulsed 
with severe loss. Lieutenant-Colonel Finnegas was 
then ordered to charge, and in a well-dressed, steady 
line his men went on the double-quick down over the 
field of death. 

No matter how gallantly the men behaved, no mat- 
ter how bravely they were led, it was not in the 
course of things that this gallant brigade should take 
these works by charge. Yet charge after charge was 
ordered and carried out under all these disasters with 
Spartan firmness. Six charges in all were made. 
Colonel Nelson reported to General Dwight the fear- 
ful odds he had to contend with. Says General 
Dwight, in reply, "Tell Colonel Nelson I shall con- 
sider that he has accomplished nothing unless he take 
those guns." Humanity will never forgive General 
Dwight for this last order; for he certainly saw that 
he was only throwing away the lives of his men. 
But what were his men? "Only niggers." Thus 
the last charge was made under the spur of despera- 

The ground was already strewn with the dead and 
wounded, and many of the brave officers had fallen 
early in the engagement. Among them was the gal- 
lant and highly-cultivated Anselmo. He was a stand- 
ard-bearer, and hugged the stars and stripes to his 
heart as he fell forward upon them pierced by five 
balls. Two corporals near by struggled between 
themselves as to who should have the honor of again 
raising those blood-stained emblems to the breeze. 
Each was eager for the honor; and during the strug- 
gle a missile from the enemy wounded one of them, 


and the other corporal shouldered the dear old flag 
in triumph, and bore it through the charge in the 
front of the advancing lines. 

Shells from the rebel guns cut down trees three 
feet in diameter, and they fell, at one time burying 
a whole company beneath their branches. Thus they 
charged bravely on certain destruction, till the ground 
was slippery with the gore of the slaughtered, and 
cumbered with the bodies of the maimed. The last 
charge was made about one o'clock. At this juncture, 
Captain Callioux was seen with his left arm dangling 
by his side, — for a ball had broken it above the el- 
bow, — while his right hand held his unsheathed sword 
gleaming in the rays of the sun: and his hoarse, faint 
voice was heard cheering on his men. A moment 
more, and the brave and generous Callioux was struck 
by a shell, and fell far in advance of his company. 

The fall of this officer so exasperated his men, that 
they appeared to be filled with new enthusiasm; and 
they rushed forward with a recklessness that probably 
has never been surpassed. Seeing it to be a hopeless 
effort, the taking of these batteries, the order was given 
to change the programme ; and the troops were called 
off. But had they accomplished anything more than 
the loss of many of their brave men? Yes; they 
had. The self-forgetfulness, the undaunted heroism, 
and the great endurance of the Negro, as exhibited 
that day, created a new chapter in American history 
for the colored man. 

Many Persians were slain at the battle of Ther- 
mopylae; but history records only the fall of Leoni- 
das and his four hundred companions. So in the 
future, when we shall have passed away from the 


stage, and rising generations shall speak of the con- 
flict at Port Hudson, and the celebrated charge of the 
negro brigade, they will forget all others in the admira- 
tion for Andre Callioux and his colored associates. 
General Banks, in his report of the battle of Port 
Hudson, says: " Whatever doubt may have existed 
heretofore as to the efficiency of organizations of this 
character, the history of this day proves conclusively 
to those who were in a condition to observe the con- 
duct of these regiments, that the government will find 
in this class of troops effective supporters and defend- 
ers. The severe test to which they were subjected, 
and the determined manner in which they encoun- 
tered the enemy, leaves upon my mind no doubt of 
their ultimate success." 

The splendid behavior of the blacks in the valley of 
the Mississippi, was soon equalled by the celebrated 
Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment, commanded by 
the lamented Robert G. Shaw. 

On the sixteenth of July, the Fifty -fourth Regi- 
ment (colored), Colonel R. G. Shaw, was attacked by 
the enemy, on James Island, in which a fight of two 
hours' duration took place, the Rebels largely out- 
numbering the Union forces. The Fifty-fourth, how- 
ever, drove the enemy before them in confusion. The 
loss to our men was fourteen killed and eighteen 
wounded. During the same day, Colonel Shafts re- 
ceived orders from General Gillmore to evacuate the 
Island. Preparations began at dusk. The night was 
dark and stormy, and made the movement both diffi- 
cult and dangerous. The march was from James Island 
to Cole Island, across marshes, streams, and dikes, and 
part of the way upon narrow foot-bridges, along which 

360 THE RISING S02s\ 

it was necessary to proceed in single file. The whole 
force reached Cole Island the next morning, July 17, 
and rested during the day on the beach opposite the 
south end of Folly Island. About ten o'clock in the 
evening, the colonel of the Fifty-fourth received 
orders directing him to report, with his command, to 
General George C. Strong, at Morris Island, to whose 
brigade the regiment was transferred. 

From eleven o'clock of Friday evening until four 
o'clock of Saturday, they were being pnt on the trans- 
port, the "General Hunter," in a boat which took 
about fifty at a time. There they breakfasted on the 
same fare, and had no other food before entering 
into the assault on Fort AYairnor in the evening. 

The General Hunter left Colo Island for Folly Island 
at six a. M. ; and the troops landed at Pawnee Land- 
ing about nine and a half a. m., and thence marched to 
the point opposite Morris Island, reaching there about 
two o'clock in the afternoon. They were transported 
in a steamer across the inlet, and at four p. M., began 
their march for Fort AYaimer. Thev reached Briga- 
dier-General Strong's quarters, about midway on the 
Island, about six or six and a half o'clock, where they 
halted for five minutes. 

General Strong expressed a great desire to give them 
food and stimulants; but it was too late, as they had 
to lead the charge. They had been without tents dur- 
ing the pelting rains of Thursday and Friday nights. 
General Strong had been impressed with the high 
character of the regiment and its officers; and he 
wished to assign them the post where the most severe 
work was to be done, and the highest honor was to be 


The march across Folly and Morris Islands was over 
a sandy road, and was very wearisome. The regiment 
went through the centre of the Island, and not along 
the beach, where the marching was easier. 

When they had come within six hundred yards of 
Fort Wagner, they formed in line of battle, the colonel 
heading the first, and the major the second battalion. 
This was within musket-shot of the enemy. There was 
little firing from the enemy ; a solid shot falling be- 
tween the battalions, and another falling to the right, 
but no musketry. At this point, the regiment, to- 
gether with the next supporting regiment, the Sixth 
Connecticut, Ninth Maine, and others, remained half 
an hour. The regiment was addressed by General 
Strong and by Colonel Shaw. Then, at seven and a 
half or seven and three-quarters o'clock, the order for 
the charge was given. The regiment advanced at 
quick time, changed to double-quick when at some dis- 
tance on. 

The intervening distance between the place where the 
line was formed and the fort was run over in a few 
minutes. When about one hundred yards from the 
fort, the rebel musketry opened with such terrible 
effect that for an instant the first battalion hesitated, — 
but only for an instant; for Colonel Shaw, springing to 
the front and waving his sword, shouted, "Forward, 
my brave boys!" and with another cheer and a shout 
they rushed through the ditch, gained the parapet on 
the right, and were soon engaged in a hand-to-hand 
conflict with the enemy. Colonel Shaw was one of 
the first to scale the walls. He stood erect, to urge 
forward his men, and while shouting for them to press 
on was shot dead, and fell into the fort. His body 


was found, with twenty of his men lying dead around 
him; two lying on his own body. 

The Fifty-fourth did well and nobly; only the fall 
of Colonel Shaw prevented them from entering the fort. 
They moved up as gallantly as any troops could, and 
with their enthusiasm, they deserved a better fate. 

Sergeant-Major Lewis H. Douglass, son of Frederick 
Douglass, the celebrated orator, sprang upon the para- 
pet close behind Colonel Shaw, and cried out, "Come, 
boys, come; let's fight for God and Governor An- 
drew. ' ' This brave young man was the last to leave 
the parapet. Before the regiment reached the parapet, 
the color-sergeant was wounded; and while in the act 
of falling, the colors were seized by Sergeant William 
H. Carney, who bore them up, and mounted the para- 
pet, where he, too, received three severe wounds. But 
on orders being given to retire, the color-bearer, 
though almost disabled, still held the emblem of lib- 
erty in the air, and followed his regiment by the aid of 
his comrades, and succeeded in reaching the hospital, 
where he fell exhausted and almost lifeless on the floor, 
saying, "The old flag never touched the ground, 
boys." Captain Lewis F. Emilio, the junior cap- 
tain, — all of his superiors having been killed or 
wounded, — took command, and brought the regiment 
into camp. In this battle, the total loss in officers and 
men, killed and wounded, was two hundred and sixty- 

When inquiry was made at Fort Wagner, under flag 
of truce, for the body of Colonel Shaw of the Massa- 
chusetts Fifty-fourth, the answer was, "We have 
buried him with his niggers ! ' ' It is the custom of 
savages to outrage the dead, and it was only natural 


that the natives of South Carolina should attempt to 
heap insult upon the remains of the brave young sol- 
dier ; but that wide grave on Morris Island will be to 
a whole race a holy sepulchre. No more fitting place 
for burial, no grander obsequies could have been given 
to him who cried, as he led that splendid charge, 
" On, my brave boys," than to give to him and to 
them one common grave. 

Shaw's Regiment afterwards distinguished itself in 
the hard-fought battle of Olustee, an engagement that 
will live in the history of the Rebellion. 

The battle of Olustee was fought in a swamp situated 
thirty-five miles west of Jacksonville, and four miles 
from Sanderson, in the State of Florida. The expedi- 
tion was under the immediate command of Genera] C. 
Seymour, and consisted of the Seventh New Hamp- 
shire, Seventh Connecticut, Eighth United States (col- 
ored) Battery, Third United States Artillery, Fifty- 
fourth Massachusetts (colored), and First North 
Carolina (colored). The command having rested on 
the night of the 19th of February, 1864, at Barbour's 
Ford, on the St. Mary's River, took up its line of 
march on the morning of the 20th, and proceeded to 
Sanderson, nine miles to the west, which was reached 
at one o'clock, p. M., without interruption; but about 
three miles beyond, the advance drove in the enemy's 
pickets. The Seventh Connecticut, being deployed 
as skirmishers, fell in with the enemy's force in the 
swamp, strengthened still more by rifle-pits. Here 
they were met by cannon and musketry; but our 
troops, with their Spencer rifles, played great havoc 
with the enemy, making an attempt to take one of 
his pieces of artillery, but failed. However, they 


held their ground nobly for three-quarters of an hour, 
and were just about retiring as the main body of our 
troops came up. 

The Eighth (colored), which had never been in 
battle, and which had been recruited but a few weeks, 
came up and filed to the right, when they met with a 
most terrific shower of musketry and shell. General 
Seymour now came up, and pointing in front, towards 
the railroad, said to Colonel Fribley, commander of 
the Eighth, "Take your regiment in there," — a place 
which was sufficiently hot to make the oldest and 
most field-worn veterans tremble ; and yet these men, 
who had never heard the sound of a cannon before, 
rushed in where they commenced dropping like grass 
before the sickle. Still on they went without falter- 
ing, until they came within two hundred yards of the 
enemy's strongest works. Here these brave men stood 
for nearly three hours before a terrible fire, closing up 
as their ranks were thinned out, fire iii front, on their 
flank, and in the rear, without flinching or breaking. 

Colonel Fribley, seeing that it was impossible to 
hold the position, passed along the lines to tell the 
officers to fire, and fall back gradually, and was shot 
before he reached the end. He was shot in the chest, 
told the men to carry him to the rear, and expired in a 
very few minutes. Major Burritt took command, but 
was also wounded in a short time. At this time Cap- 
tain Hamilton's batterv became endangered, and he 
cried out to our men for God's sake to save his battery. 
Our United States flag, after three sergeants had for- 
feited their lives by bearing it during the fight, was 
planted on the battery by Lieutenant Elijah Lewis, 
and the men rallied around it; but the guns had been 


jammed up so indiscriminately, and so close to the 
enemy's lines, that the gunners were shot down as fast 
as they made their appearance; and the horses, whilst 
they were wheeling the pieces into position, shared the 
same fate. They were compelled to leave the battery, 
and failed to bring the flag away. The battery fell 
into the enemy's bands. During the excitement, Cap- 
tain Bailey took command, and brought out the regi- 
ment in good order. Sergeant Taylor, Company D., 
who carried the battle-flag, had his right baud nearly 
shot off, but grasped the colors with the left hand, and 
brought them out. 

The Seventh New Hampshire was posted on both 
sides of the wagon-road, and broke, but soon rallied, 
and did good execution. The line was probably one 
mile lon<z, and all aloni? the fi^htinsr was terrific. 

Our artillery, where it could be worked, made dread- 
ful havoc on the enemy; whilst the enemy did us but 
very little injury with his; with the exception of one 
gun, a sixty -lour pound swivel, fixed on a truck-car on 
the railroad, which fired grape and canister. On the 
whole, Ihcir artillery was very harmless; but their 
musketry fearful. 

Up to this time, neither the First North Carolina 
nor the Firty-fourth Massachusetts had taken any 
part in the fight, as they were in the rear some dis- 
tance. However, they heard the roar of battle, and 
were hastening to the field, when they were met by an 
aide, who came riding up to the colonel of the Fifty- 
fourth, saying, "For God's sake, Colonel, double- 
quick, or the day is lost !" Of all the regiments, every 
one seemed to look to the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts 
with the most dependence on the field of battle. Thia 


regiment was under the command of Colonel E. N. 
Hallowcll, who fell wounded by the side of Colonel 
Shaw, at Fort Wagner, and who, since his recovery, 
had been in several engagements, in all of which he 
had shown himself an excellent officer, and had gained 
the entire confidence of his men, who were willing to 
follow him wherever he chose to lead. When the 
aide met these two regiments, he found them hasten- 
ing on. 

The First North Carolina was in lfeht marching 
order; the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts was in heavy 
marching order, with knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, 
and every other appurtenance of the soldier. But off 
went everything, and they double-quicked on to the 
field. At the most critical juncture, just as the rebels 
were preparing for a simultaneous charge along the 
whole line, and they had captured our artillery 
and turned it upon us, Colonel James Montgomery, 
Colonel Hallowell, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper 
formed our line of battle on right by file into line. 

The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts went in first, with 
a cheer. They were followed by the First North 
Carolina (colored) ; Lieutenant-Colonel Beed, in com- 
mand, headed the regiment, sword in hand, and charged 
upon the rebels. They broke when within twenty 
yards of contact with our negro troops. Overpowered 
by numbers, the First North Carolina fell back in 
good order, and poured in a destructive fire. Their 
colonel fell, mortally wounded. Major Bogle fell 
wounded, and two men were killed in trying to reach 
his body. The Adjutant, William C. Manning, before 
wounded at Malvern Hills, got a bullet in his body, 
but persisted in remaining until another shot struck 


him. His lieutenant-colonel, learning the fact, em- 
braced him, and implored him to leave the field. The 
next moment the two friends were stretched side by 
side; the colonel had received his own death-wound. 
But the two colored regiments had stood in the gap, 
and saved the army. The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, 
which, with the First North Carolina, may be truly said 
to have saved the forces from utter rout, lost eighty 

There were three color-sergeants shot down; the last 
one was shot three times before he relinquished the 
flag of his country. His name was Samuel C. Waters, 
Company C, and his body sleeps where he fell. The 
battle-flag carried by Sergeant Taylor was borne 
through the fi^ht with the left hand, after the riirht 
one was nearly shot off. The rebels fired into the 
place where the wounded were being attended to ; and 
their cavalry was about making a charge on it just as 
the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts appeared on the field, 
when they retired. 

Had Colonel Hallowell not seen at a glance the situ- 
ation of affairs, the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volun- 
teers would have been killed or captured. When they 
entered the field with the First North Carolina, which 
is a brave regiment, they (the First North Carolina) 
fired well while they remained; but they gave way, 
thus exposing the right. On the left, the rebel cavalry 
were posted; and as the enemy's left advanced on oui 
right, their cavalry pressed the left. Both flanks were 
thus being folded up, and slaughter or capture would 
have been the inevitable result. We fell back in good 
order, and established new lines of battle, until we 
reached Sanderson. 


Here a scene that beggars description was presented. 
Wounded men lined the railroad station; and the 
roads were filled with artillery, caissons, ammuni- 
tion, baggage-wagons, infantry, cavalry, and ambu- 
lances. The only organized bodies ready to repel at- 
tack were a portion of the Fortieth Massachusetts 
Mounted Infantry, armed with the Spencer repeat ing- 
rifle, the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, and 
the Seventh Connecticut, commanded by Colonel Haw- 
ley, now governor of Connecticut. 

An occurrence of thrilling interest took place during 
the battle, which I must not omit to mention. It was 
this : — 

Colonel Ilallowell ordered the color-line to be ad- 
vanced one hundred and fifty paces. Three of the col- 
ored corporals, Pease, Palmer, and Glasgow, being 
wounded, and the accomplished Goodin killed, there 
were four only left, — Wilkins, the acting sergeant, 
Helman, and Lenox. The colors were perforated with 
bullets, and the staff was struck near the grasp of the 
sergeant; but the color-guard marched steadily out, 
one hundred and fifty paces to the front, with heads 
erect and square to the front; and the battalion rallied 
around it, and fought such a fight as made Colonel 
Hallowell shout with very joy, and the men themselves 
to ring out defiant cheers which made the pines and 
marshes of Ocean Pond echo a^ain. 

Although these colored men had never been paid off, 
and their families at home were 'in want, they were as 
obedient, and fought as bravely, as the white troops, 
whose pockets contained "greenbacks," and whose 
wives and children were provided for. 

The Fifty -fourth Massachusetts went into the battle 


with "Three cheers for Massachusetts, and seven dol- 
lars a month." 

It is well known that the general in command came 
to the colonel and said, "The day is lost; you must 
do what you can to save the army from destruction." 
And nobly did they obey him. They fired their guns 
till their ammunition was exhausted, and then stood 
with fixed bayonets till the broken columns had time 
to retreat, and though once entirely outflanked, the 
enemy getting sixty yards in their rear, their un- 
daunted front and loud cheering caused the enemy to 
pause, and allowed them time to change front. They 
occupied the position as rear guard all the way back to 
Jacksonville; and wherever was the post of danger, 
there was the Fifty -fourth to be found. 

When the forces arrived at Jacksonville, they therq 
learned that the train containing the wounded was at 
Ten-Mile Station, where it had been left, owing to the 
breaking down of the engine. The Fifty-fourth Massa- 
chusetts, fatigued and worn out as it was, was des- 
patched at once, late at night, to the assistance of the 
disabled train. Arriving at Ten-Mile Station, they 
found that the only way to bring the wounded with 
them was to attach ropes to the cars, and let the men 
act as motive power. Thus the whole train of cars 
containing the wounded from the battle of Olustee 
was dragged a distance of ten miles by that brave col- 
ored regiment. 

The battle of Poison Springs, Arkansas, between 
one thousand Uuiuii and eight thousand rebel troops, 
was one of the most severe conflicts of the war. Six 
hundred of the Union forces were colored, and from 
Kansas, some of them having served under old John 


Brown during the great struggle in that territory. 
These black men, as it will be seen, bore the brunt 
of the fight, and never did men show more determined 
bravery than was exhibited on this occasion. 

Nothing in the history of the Rebellion equalled in 
inhumanity and atrocity the horrid butchery at Fort 
Pillow, Kentucky, on the 13th of April, 18G4. In no 
other school than slavery could human beings have 
been trained to such readiness for cruelties like these. 
Accustomed to brutality and bestiality all their lives, 
it was easy for them to perpetrate the atrocities which 
startled the civilized foreign world, as they awakened 
the indignation of our own people. 

After the rebels were in undisputed possession of 
the fort, and the survivors had surrendered, they com- 
menced the indiscriminate butchery of all the Federal 
soldiery. The colored soldiers threw down their guns, 
and raised their arms, in token of surrender; but not 
the least attention was paid to it. They continued to 
shoot down all they found. A number of them, find- 
ing no quarter was given, ran over the bluff to the 
river, and tried to conceal themselves under the bank 
and in the bushes, where they were pursued by the 
rebel savages, whom they implored to spare their 
lives. Their appeals were made in vain; and they 
were all shot down in cold blood, and, in full sight 
of the gunboat, chased and shot down like dogs. In 
passing up the bank of the river, fifty dead might be 
counted strewed aloncr. One had crawled into a 
hollow log, and was killed in it; another had got 
over the bank into the river, and had got on a board 
that ran out into the water. He lay on it on his 
face, with his feet in the water. He lay there, when 


exposed, stark and stiff. Several had tried to hide 
in crevices made by the falling bank, and could not 
be seen without difficulty; but they were singled out, 
and killed. From the best information to be had, the 
white soldiers were, to a very considerable extent, 
treated in the same way. 

We now record an account of the battle of Honey 
Hill, South Carolina, and oue of the most famous en- 
gagements in which the blacks fought during the war. 

Honey Hill is about two and a half miles east of the 
village of Grahamville, Beaufort District. On the 
crest of this, where the road or the highway strikes it, 
is a semicircular line of earthworks, defective, though, 
in construction, as they are too high for infantry, and 
have little or no exterior slope. These works formed 
the centre of the rebel lines ; while their left reached 
up into the pinelands, and their right along a line of 
fence that skirted the swamp below the batteries. 
They commanded fully the road in front as it passes 
through the swamp at the base of the hill, and only 
some fifty or sixty yards distant. Through the swamp 
runs a small creek, which spreads up and down the 
roads for some thirty or forty yards, but is quite shal- 
low the entire distance. Some sixty yards beyond 
the creek, the main road turns off to the left, making 
an obtuse angle; while another and smaller road 
makes off to the right from the same point. 

The Union forces consisted of six thousand troops, 
artillery, cavalry, and infantry, all told, under the 
command of Major-General J. G. Foster, General John 
P. Hatch having the immediate command. The First 
Brigade, under General E. E. Potter, was composed 
of the Fifty-sixth and One Hundred and Forty-fourth 


United States, Twenty -fifth Ohio, and Thirty-fourth 
and Thirty-fifth United States (colored). The Second 
Brigade, under Colonel A. S. Hartwell, was composed 
of the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Massachusetts, and 
Twenty-sixth and Thirty-second United States (col- 
ored). Colonel E. P. Hallowell, of the Fifty-fourth 
Massachusetts, had, in spite of his express desire, been 
left behind in command of Morris and Folly Islands. 
As at the battle of Olustcc, the enemy was met in 
small numbers some three or four miles from his base. 
The Union forces approached the fort by the left road, 
which brought them in front of the enemy's guns, 
pointing down the hill, which was also down the road. 

The Thirty-second United States colored troops were 
ordered to charge the rebel fort; had got in position 
at the head of the road. They attempted, but got 
stuck in the marsh, which they found impassable at the 
point of their assault; and a galling fire of grape, can- 
ister, and musketry being opened on them, they were 
forced to retire. 

The Thirty-fourth United States colored troops also 
essayed an assault, but could not get near enough to 
produce any effect upon it. These regiments, how- 
ever, only fell back to the line of battle, where they 
remained throughout the entire fight. 

The Fifty-fifth Massachusetts (colored) went into 
the fight on the right of the brigade, commanded by 
Colonel Hartwell. The fire became very hot; but still 
the regiment did not waver, the line merely quivered. 
Captain Goraud, of General Foster's staff, whose gal- 
lantry was conspicuous all day, rode up just as Colonel 
Hartwell was wounded in the hand, and advised him 
to retire; but the colonel declined. 


Colonel Hartwell gave the order; the colors came 
to the extreme front, when the colonel shouted, "Fol- 
low your colors!" The bugle sounded the charge, 
and then the colonel led the way himself. 

After an unsuccessful charge in line of battle by 
the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Massachusetts, the 
Fifty-fifth was formed in column by company, and 
again thrice marched up that narrow causeway in the 
face of the enemy's batteries and musketry. 

Captain Crane, of the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts, 
whose company had been left in charge of Fort Dela- 
field, at Folly Island, but who, at his own request, 
had gone as aide to Colonel Hartwell, was, as well 
as the colonel, mounted. 

Just as they reached the marsh in front of the turn 
in the road, and within a short distance of the rebel 
works, the horse of brave Colonel Hartwell, while 
struggling through the mud, was literally blown in 
pieces by a discharge of canister. 

The colonel was wounded at the same time, and 
attempted to jump from his horse; but the animal fell 
on him, pressing him into the mud. At this time, 
he was riding at the side of the column, and the men 
pressed on past; but as they nearcd the fort they 
met a murderous fire of grape, canister, and bullets 
at short range. As the numbers of the advance were 
thinned, the few who survived began to waver, and 
finally the regiment retreated. 

In retiring, Lieutenant Ellsworth, and one man of 
the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts, came to the rescue of 
Colonel Hartwell, and in spite of his remonstrance 
that they should leave him to his fate, and take care 
of themselves, released him from his horse, and bore 


him from the field. But before he was entirely out 
of range of the enemy's fire, the colonel was again 
wounded, and the brave private soldier who was as- 
sisting was killed, and another heroic man lost- 

The Twenty-fifth Ohio, soon after the commence- 
ment of the engagement, were sent to the right, where 
they swung around, and fought on a line nearly per- 
pendicular to our main front. A portion of the Fifty- 
fifth Massachusetts were with them. One or two 
charges were essayed, but were unsuccessful; but the 
front was maintained there throughout the afternoon. 
The Twenty-fifth had the largest loss of all the regi- 

The colored troops fought well throughout the day. 
Counter-charges wcro made at various times during 
the fight by the enemy; but our infantry and artillery 
mowed them down, and they did not at any time get 
very near our lines. Whenever a charge of our men 
was repulsed, the rebels would flock out of their 
works, whooping like Indians; but Ames's guns and 
the terrible volleys of our infantry would send them 
back. The Naval Brigade behaved splendidly. 

The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, heroes of all the 
hard fights that occurred in the department, were 
too much scattered in this battle to do full jus- 
tice to themselves. Only two companies went into 
the fight at first, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper. 
They were posted on the left. Subsequently they 
were joined by four more companies, who were left 
on duty in the rear. 

Many scenes transpired in this battle which would 
furnish rich material for the artist. In the midst of 
the engagement, a shell exploded amongst the color- 


guard, severely wounding the color-sergeant, Ring, 
who was afterwards killed by a bullet. Private Fitz- 
gerald, of Company D., Massachusetts Fifty-fifth, was 
badly wounded in the side and leg, but regained at 
his post. Major Nutt, seeing his condition, ordered 
him to the rear. The man obeyed; but soon the 
major saw that he had returned, when he spoke 
sharply, "Go to the rear, and have your wounds 
dressed." The man again obeyed the order; but in a 
few minutes more was seen by the major, with a hand- 
kerchief bound around the leg, and loading and firing. 
The major said to our informant, "I thought I would 
let him stay." 

Like the Fifty-fourth at Olustee, the Fifty-fifth was 
the last regiment to leave the field, and cover the 
retreat at Honey Hill. 

It is only simple justice to the Fifty-fifth Massachu- 
setts Regiment, to say that at Honey Hill it occupied 
the most perilous position throughout nearly the entire 

Three times did these heroic men march up the hill 
nearly to the batteries, and as many times were swept 
back by the fearful storm of grape-shot and shell; 
more than one hundred beinsr cut down in less than 
half an hour. Great was its loss; and yet it remained 
in the gap, while our outnumbered army was strug- 
gling with the foe on his own soil, and in the strong- 
hold chosen by himself. 

What the valiant Fifty-fourth Massachusetts had 
been at the battle of Olustee, the Fifty -fifth was at 
Honey Hill. 

Never was self-sacrifice, by both officers and men, 
more apparent than on this occasion ; never did men 


look death more calmly in the face. See the undaunted 
and heroic Hartwcll at the head of his regiment, and 
hear him shouting, * 'Follow your colors, my brave 
men! " and with drawn sword leading his gallant band. 
His horse is up to its knees in the heavy mud. The 
rider, already wounded, is again struck by the frag- 
ment of a shell, but keeps his seat; while the spirited 
animal strusruliriff in the mire, and plunging about, 
attracts the attention of the braves, who are eagerly 
pressing forward to meet the enemy, to retake the 
lost ground, and gain a victory, or at least, save the 
little army from defeat. A moment more, he is killed; 
and the brave Hartwcll attempts to jump from his 
charter, but is too weak. The horse falls with fearful 
struggles upon its rider, and both arc buried in the 
mud. The brave Captain Crane, the Adjutant, is 
killed, and falls from his horse near his colonel. 
Lieutenant Uoyntou, while urging his men, is killed. 
Lieutenant Hill is wounded, bat still keeps his place. 
Captains Soule and Woodward arc both wounded, and 
yet keep their command. The blood is running freely 
from the mouth of Lieutenant Jewett; but he does 
not leave his company. Sergeant-Major Trotter is 
wounded, but still finhts. Serjeant Shorter is wounded 
in the knee, yet will not go to the rear. A shell tears 
off the foot of Sergeant-Ma j or Charles L. Mitchcl; 
and as he is carried to the rear, he shouts, with up- 
lifted hand, "Cheer up, boys; we'll never surren- 
der!" But look away in front: there are the colors, 
and foremost amongst the bearers is Robert M. King, 
the young, the handsome, and the gentlemanly ser- 
geant, whoso youth and bravery attract the attention 
of all. Scarcely more than twenty years of age, well 


educated, he left a good home in Ohio to follow 
the fortunes of war, and to give his life to help re- 
deem his race. The enemy train their guns upon the 
colors, the roar of cannon and crack of rifle is heard, 
the advanced flag falls, the heroic King is killed; 
no, he is not dead, but only wounded. A fellow- 
sergeant seizes the colors; but the bearer will not 
give them up. He rises, holds the old flag aloft with 
one hand, and presses the other upon the wound in 
his side to stop the blood. ' 'Advance the colors!" 
shouts the commander. The I rave King, though 
saturated with his own blood, is the first to obey the 
order. As he goes forward, a bullet passes through 
his heart, and he falls. Another snatches the colors; 
but they are fast, the grasp of death holds them tight. 
The hand is at last forced open, the flag is raised to 
the breeze, and the lifeless body of Robert M. King 
is borne from the field. This is but a truthful sketch 
of the part played by one heroic son of Africa, whose 
death was lamented by all who knew him. This is 
only one of the two hundred and forty-nine that fell 
on the field of Honey Hill. With a sad heart we 
turn away from the picture. 

The Sixth Regiment United States colored troops 
was the second which was organized at Camp William 
Penn, near Philadelphia, by Lieutenant-Colonel Wag- 
ner, of the Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers. 
The regiment left Philadelphia on the 14th of October, 
1863, with nearly eight huudred men, and a full com- 
plement of officers, a large majority of whom had 
been in active service in the field. 

The regiment reported to Major-General B. F. But- 
ler, at Fortress Monroe, and were assigned to duty 

378 THE RISING 80N. 

at Yorktown, Virginia, and became part of the brigade 
(afterwards so favorably known), under the command 
of Colonel S. A. Duncan, Fourth United States col- 
ored troops. Here they labored upon the fortifica- 
tions, and became thoroughly disciplined under the 
tuition of their colonel, John W. Ames, formerly 
captain of the Eleventh Infantry, United States army, 
ably seconded by Lieutenant-Colonel Roycc and Major 
Kiddoo. During the winter, the regiment took a 
prominent part in the several raids made in the direc- 
tion of Richmond, and exhibited qualities that elicited 
the praise of their officers, and showed that they could 
be fully relied upon in more dangerous work. 

The regiment was ordered to Camp Hamilton, Vir- 
ginia, in May, 1864, where a division of colored 
troops was formed, and placed under the command of 
Brigadier-General Hinks. In the expedition made up 
the James River the same month, under General But- 
ler, this division took part. The white troops were 
landed at Bermuda Hundreds. Three regiments of 
colored men were posted at various points along the 
river. Duncan's brigade landed at City Point, where 
they immediately commenced fortifications. The Sixth 
and Fourth Regiments were soon after removed to 
Spring Hill, within five miles of Petersburg. Here 
they labored night and day upon those earthworks 
which were soon to be the scene of action which was 
to become historical. The Sixth was in a short time 
left alone, by the removal of the Fourth Regiment to 
another point. 

On the 29th of May, the rebel forces made an 
assault on the picket-line, the enemy soon after 
attacking in strong force, but were unable to drive 


back the picket-line any considerable distance. The 
Fourth Regiment was ordered to the assistance of the 
Sixth ; but our forces were entirely too weak to make 
it feasible or prudent to attack the enemy, who with- 
drew during the night, having accomplished nothing. 
This was the first experience of the men under actual 
fire, and they behaved finely. When the outer works 
around Petersburg were attacked, June 15, Duncan's 
brigade met the rebels, and did good service, driving 
the enemy before him. We had a number killed and 
wounded in this engagement. The rebels sought 

© © © 

shelter in their main works, which were of the most 
formidable character. These defences had been erected 
by the labor of slaves, detailed for the purpose. Our 
forces followed them to their stronghold. The white 
troops occupied the right; and in order to attract the 
attention of the enemy, while these troops were 
manoeuvring for a favorable attacking position, the 
colored soldiers were subject to a most galling fire 
for several hours, losing a number of officers and men. 
Towards night, the fight commenced in earnest by the 
troops on the right, who quickly cleared their portion 
of the line; this was followed by the immediate ad- 
vance of the colored troops, the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, 
and Twenty-second Regiments. In a very short time 
the rebels were driven from the whole line; these 
regiments capturing seven pieces of artillery, and a 
number of prisoners. For their gallantry in this action 
the colored troops received a highly complimentary 
notice from General W. H. Smith in General Orders. 
A few hours after entering the rebel works, our 
soldiers were gladdened by a sight of the veterans of 
the Army of the Potomac, who that night relieved our 


men at the front. A glance at the strong works gave 
the new-comers a better opinion of the fighting qualities 
of the negroes than they had calculated upon; and a 
good feeling was at once established, that rapidly dis- 
pelled most of the prejudices then existing against the 
blacks; and from that time to the close of the war, the 
negro soldier stood high with the white troops. 

After spending some time at the Bermuda Hundreds, 
the Sixth Regiment was ordered to Dutch Gap, 
Virginia, where, on the lGth of August, they assisted 
in driving the rebels from Signal Hill; General Butler, 
in person, leading our troops. The Sixth Regiment 
contributed its share towards completing Butler's 
famous canal, during which time they were often very 
much annoyed by the rebel shells thrown amongst 
them. The conduct of the men throughout these try- 
ing scenes reflected great credit upon them. On the 
29th of September, the regiment occupied the advance 
in the demonstration made by Butler that day upon 
Richmond. The first line of battle was formed by the 
Fourth and Sixth Regiments; the latter entered the 
fight with three hundred and fifteen men, including 
nineteen officers. 

The enemy were driven back from within two miles 
of Deep Bottom, to their works at New Market 
Heights: the Sixth was compelled to cross a small 
creek, and then an open field. They were met by a 
fearful fire from the rebel works; men fell by scores; 
still the regiment went forward. The color-bearers, 
one after another, were killed or wounded, until the 
entire color-guard were swept from the field. Two 
hundred and nine men, and fourteen officers, were 
killed and wounded. Few fields of battle showed 


greater slaughter than this ; and in no conflict did both 
officers and men prove themselves more brave. Cap- 
tains York and Sheldon and Lieutenant Meyer were 
killed close to the rebel works. Lieutenants Pratt, 
Landon, and McEvoy subsequently died of the wounds 
received. Lieutenant Charles Fields, Company A., 
was killed on the skirmish-line: this left the company 
in charge of the first sergeant, Richard Carter, of Phil- 
adelphia, who kept it in its advanced position through 
the entire day, commanding with courage and great 
ability, attracting marked attention for his officer-like 
bearing. During the battle many instances of unsur- 
passed bravery were shown by the common soldier, 
which proved that these heroic men were fighting 
for the freedom of their race, aud the restoration of a 
Union that should protect man in his liberty without 
regard to color. No regiment did more towards extin- 
guishing prejudice against the Negro than the patriotic 



The prompt manner in which colored men in the 
North had enlisted in the army to aid in putting down 
the Rebellion, and the heroism and loyalty of the slaves 
of the South in helping to save the Union, so exasper- 
ated the disloyal people in the Northern States, that 
they early began a system of cowardly warfare against 
the blacks wherever they found them. . The mob spirit 
first manifested itself at a meeting held in Boston, De- 
cember 3, 1860, to observe the anniversary of the death 
of John Brown. A combination of North End roughs 
and Beacon Street aristocrats took possession of the 
Tremont Temple, the place of holding the meeting, 
appointed Richard S. Fay as Chairman, and passed a 
series of resolutions in favor of the slave-holders of the 
South, and condemnatory of the abolitionists. 

This success induced these enemies of free discussion 
to attempt to break up the meeting of the Twenty- 
eighth Congregational Society at Music Hall the fol- 
lowing Sunday, at which Frederick Douglass was the 
speaker. Wendell Phillips addressed the same society 
at the same place, on the 19th following, when the mob 



spirit seemed even more violent than on any previous 
occasion. These events were still fresh in the minds 
of the haters of negro freedom, when, on the 10th of 
July, 18G3, the great mob commenced in the city of 
New York. 

The mob was composed of the lowest and most de- 
graded of the foreign population (mainly Irish) , raked 
from the filthy cellars and dens of the city, steeped in 
crimes of the deepest dye, and ready for any act, no 
matter how dark; together with the worst type of our 
native criminals, whose long service in the prisons of 
the country, and whose training in the Democratic 
party, had so demoralized their natures that they were 
ever on the hunt for some deed of robbery or murder. 

This conglomerated mass of human beings were 
under the leadership of men standing higher than 
themselves in the estimation of the public, but, if pos- 
sible, really lower in moral degradation. Cheered on 
by men holding high political positions, and finding 
little or no opposition, they went on at a fearful rate. 

Never, in the history of mob-violence, was crime 
carried to such an extent. Murder, arson, robbery, 
and cruelty reigned triumphant throughout the city, 
day and night, for more than a week. 

Hundreds of the blacks, driven from their homes, and 
hunted and chased through the streets, presented them- 
selves at the doors of jails, prisons, police-stations, and 
begged admission. Thus did these fiends prowl about 
the city, committing crime after crime; indeed, in 
point of cruelty, the Rebellion was transferred from 
the South to the North. 

The destruction of the colored Orphan Asylum, after 


first robbing the little black children of their clothing, 
seemed a most heartless transaction. 

Nearly forty colored persons were murdered during 
this reign of terror. Some were hung at lamp-posts, 
some thrown off the docks, while others, shot, clubbed, 
and cut to pieces with knives, were seen lying dead in 
the streets. 

Numbers of men and boys amused themselves by 
cutting pieces of flesh from the dead body of a black 
man who was suspended from a lamp-post at the 
corner of Prince Street. 

Hundreds of colored men and women had taken 
shelter in the buildings reached by passing through tho 
"Arch," on Thompson Street. The mob made several 
unsuccessful attempts to gain admission to this alley, 
where, in one of the buildings, was a room about thirty 
by forty feet square, in the centre of which stood an 
old-fashioned cook-stove, the top of which seemed 
filled with boilers, and all steaming away, completely 
filling the place with a dense fog. Two lamps, with 
dingy chimneys, and the light from the fire, which 
shone brightly through the broken doors of the stove, 
lighted up the room. Eight athletic black women, 
looking for all tho world as if they had just returned 
from a Virginia corn-field, weary and hungry, stood 
around the room. 

Each of these Amazons was armed with a tin dip- 
per, apparently new, which had no doubt been pur- 
chased for the occasion. A woman of exceedingly 
large proportions — tall, long-armed, with a deep scar 
down the side of her face, and with a half grin, half 
smile — was the commander-in-chief of the "hot room." 
This woman stood by the stove, dipper in hand, and 


occasionally taking the top from the large wash-boiler, 
which we learned was filled with boiling water, soap, 
and ashes. 

In case of an attack, this boiler was to be the 
"King of Pain." 

Guided by a friend who had furnished us a disguise, 
the writer entered tho "hot room," and took a view of 
its surroundings. As we saw the perspiration stream- 
ing down the faces of these women, we ventured a few 

"Do you expect an attack?" we asked. 

"Dunno, honey; but we's ready cf dcy comes," was 
the reply from the aunty near the stove. 

"Were you ever in slavery?" we continued. 

"Yes; ain't bin from dar but little while." 

"What State?" 

"Bred and born in ole Virginny, down on de Pcr- 
tomuc. " 

"Have you any of your relations in Virginia now?" 

"Yes; got six chiiens down dar somewhar, an' two 
husbuns — all sole to do speclaturs afore I run away." 

"Did you come off alone ?" 

"No; my las ole man bring mo 'way." 

"You don't mean to be taken back by the slave- 
catchers, in peace?" 

"No; I'll die fuss." 

"How will you manage if they attempt to come into 
this room?" 

"We'll all fling hot water on 'em, an' scall dar very 
harts out." 

"Can you all throw water without injuring each 

"O yes, honey; we's bin practicin' all day." And 


here the whole company joined in a hearty laugh, which 
made the old building ring. 

The intense heat drove us from the room. As wo 
descended the steps and passed the guards, we re- 
marked to one of them, — 

"The women seem to be prepared for battle." 

"Yes," he replied; "dem wimmens got dc debil in 
'em to-night, an' no mistake- Dey'll make dat a hot 
hell in dar fur somebody." 

And here the guards broke forth into a hearty laugh, 
which was caught up and joined in by the women in 
the house, which showed very clearly that these blacks 
felt themselves masters of tbc situation. 

As the mob made their last attempt to gain an en- 
trance to the alley, one of their number, a man bloated 
with strong drink, and heaping oaths upon tbc "nig- 
gers," succeeded in getting through, and made his 
way to the "hot room," where, it is said, he suddenly 
disappeared. It was whispered that the washerwomen 
made soap-grease of his carcass. 

The inhabitants of the "Arch" were not again 



Caste is usually found to exist in communities or 
countries among majorities, and against minorities. 
The basis of it is owing to some supposed inferiority 
or degradation attached to the hated ones. However, 
nothing is more foolish than this prejudice. But the 
silliest of all caste is that which is founded on color; 

for those who entertain it have not a single logical 

© © 

reason to offer in its defence. 

The fact is, slavery has been the cause of all the 
prejudice against the negro. Wherever the blacks 
are ill-treated on account of their color, it is because 
of their identity with a race that has long worn the 
chain of slavery. Is there anything in black that 
should be hated? If so, why do we see so much 
black in common use as clothing among all classes? 
Indeed, black is preferred to cither white or colors. 
How often the young man speaks in ecstasies of the 
black eyes and black hair of his lady-love! Look at 
the hundreds of advertised hair-dyes, used for the 
purpose of changing Nature! See men with their 
gray beards dyed black; women with those beautiful 



olack locks, which but yesterday were as white as the 
driven snow! Not only this, but even those with light 
or red whiskers run to the dyc-kcltlc, steal a color 
which Nature has refused them, and an hour after 
curse the negro for a complexion that is not stolen. 
If black is so hateful, why do not gentlemen have 
their boots whitewashed? If the slaves of the South 
had been Avhitc, the same prejudice would have ex- 
isted against them. Look at the "poor white trash," 
as the lower class of whites in the Southern States aro 

The general good conduct of the blacks during the 
Rebellion, and especially the aid rendered to our 
Northern men escaping from Southern prisons, has 
done much to dispel the prejudice so rampant in tho 
free states. The following, from the pen of Junius 
Henri Browne, the accomplished war correspondent 
of "The Tribune," is but a fair sample of what was 
said for the negro during the great conflict. In his 
very interesting work, "Four Years in Seccssia," he 
says : — 

"The negro who had guided us to the railway had 
told us of another of his color to whom we could ap- 
ply for shelter and food at the terminus of our second 
stage. We could not find him until nearly dawn; 
and when we did, he directed us to a large barn filled 
with corn-husks. Into that we crept with our drip- 
ping garments, and lay there for fifteen hours, until 
we could again venture forth. Floundering about in 
the husks, wo lost our haversacks, pipes, and a hat. 

"About nine o'clock we procured a hearty supper 
from the generous negro, who even gave me his hat, — 
an appropriate presentation, as one of my companions 


remarked, by an 'intelligent contraband' to the reli- 
able gentleman of 'The New York Tribune.' The 
negro did picket-duty while we hastily ate our meal, 
and stood by his blazing lire. The old African and 
his wife gave us 'God bless you, massa!' with trem- 
bling voice and moistened eyes, as wo parted from 
them with grateful hearts. 'God bless negroes !' say 
I, with earnest lips. During our entire captivity, and 
after our escape, they were ever our firm, brave, un- 
flinching friends. We never made an appeal to them 
they did not answer. They never hesitated to do us a 
service at the risk even of life; and under the most 
trying circumstances, revealed a devotion and a spirit 
of self-sacrifice that were heroic. 

"The magic word 'Yankee,' opened all their hearts, 
and elicited the loftiest virtues. They were ignorant, 
oppressed, enslaved; but they always cherished a 
simple and beautiful faith in the cause of the Union, 
and its ultimate triumph, and never abandoned or 
turned aside from a man who sought food or shelter 
on his way to freedom." 

The month of May, 18G4, saw great progress in the 
treatment of the colored troops by the government of 
the United States. The circumstances were more 
favorable for this change than they had hitherto been. 
Slavery had been abolished in the District of Colum- 
bia, Maryland, and Missouri. The heroic assault on 
Fort Wagner, the unsurpassed bravery exhibited at 
Port Hudson, the splendid fighting at Olustec and 
Honey Hill, had raised the colored men in the esti- 
mation of the nation. President Lincoln and his ad- 
visers had seen their error, and begun to repair tho 
wrong. The year opened with the appointment of 


Dr. A. T. Augusta, a colored gentleman, as surgeon 
of colored volunteers, and he was at once assigued 
to duty, with the rank of major. Following this, was 
the appointment, by Governor Andrew, of Massachu- 
setts, of Sergeant Stephen A. Swailes, of Company 
F., Fifty -fourth Massachusetts Regiment, as second 

M. R. Delany, M. D., was soon after appointed a 
major of negro volunteers, and assigned to duty at 
Charleston, South Carolina. W. P. Powell, Jr., re- 
ceived an appointment as surgeon, about the same 

The steamer Planter, since being brought out of 
Charleston by Robert Small, was under the command 
of a Yankee, who, being ordered to do service where 
the vessel would be liable to come under the fire of 
rebel guns, refused to obey; whereupon Lieutenant- 
Colonel El well, without consultation with any higher 
authority, issued an order, placing Robert Small in 
command of the * 'Planter. " 

The acknowledgment of the civil rights of the 
negro had already been granted, in the admission of 
John S. Rock, a colored man, to practice law in all 
the counties within the jurisdiction of the United 
States. John F. Shorter, who was promoted to a 
lieutenancy in Company D., Fifty -fifth Massachusetts 
Regiment, was by trade a carpenter, and was residing 
in Delaware County, Ohio, when the call was made 
for colored troops. Severely wounded at the battle 
of Honey Hill, South Carolina, on the 30th of No- 
vember, 18G4, he still remained with his regiment, 
hoping to be of service. 

At the conclusion of the war, he returned home, 


but never recovered from his wound, and died a few 
days after his arrival. James Monroe Trotter, pro- 
moted for gallantry, was wounded at the battle of 
Honey Hill. He is a native of Grand Gulf, Missis- 
sippi; removed to Cincinnati, Ohio; was educated at 
the Albany (Ohio) Manual Labor University, where 
he distinguished himself for his scholarly attainments. 
He afterwards became a school-teacher, which position 
he filled with satisfaction to the people of Muskin- 
gum and Pike Counties, Ohio, and with honor to 
himself. Enlisting as a private in the Fifty-fifth 
Massachusetts Regiment, on its organization, he re- 
turned with it to Boston as a lieutenant, an office 
honorably earned. 

William II. Dupree, a native of Petersburg, Vir- 
ginia, was brought up and educated at Chillicothe, 
Ohio. He enlisted in the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts 
Regiment, on its formation, as a private, was soon 
made orderly-sergeant, and afterwards promoted to a 
lieutenancy for bravery on the field of battle. 

Charles L. Mitchel, promoted to a lieutenancy in 
the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Regiment for gallantry 
at the battle of Honey Hill, where he was severely 
wounded (losing a limb), is a native of Hartford, 
Connecticut, and son of William A. Mitchel of that 
city. Lieutenant Mitchel served an apprenticeship to 
William II. Burleigh, in the office of the old "Char- 
ter Oak," in Hartford, where he became an excellent 
printer. For five or six years previous to entering 
the army, he was employed in different printing-offices 
in Boston, the last of which was "The Liberator," 
edited by William Lloyd Garrison, who never speaks 
of Lieutenant Mitchel but in words of the highest 


commendation. General A. S. Hartwcll, late colonel 
of the Fifty -fifth Massachusetts Regiment, makes 
honorable mention of Lieutenant Mitchel. 

In the year 18G7, Mr. Mitchel was elected to the 
Massachusetts Legislature, from Ward Six, in Bos- 
ton. The appointment of John M. Langston to a 
position in the Frecdman Bureau, showed progress. 

However, the selection of E. D. Bassett, as Minister 
and Consul-General to Hayti, astonished even those 
who had the most favorable opinion of President 
Grant, and satisfied the people geucially, both colored 
and white. Since the close of the war, colored men 
have been appointed to honorable situations in the 
Custom Houses in the various States, also in the Post 
Office and Revenue Department. 



A little more than forty years ago, William Lloyd 
Garrison hoisted the banner of immediate and uncon- 
ditional emancipation, as the right of the slave, and 
the duty of the master. The men and women who 
gradually rallied around him, fully comprehended the 
solemn responsibility they were then taking, and seemed 
prepared to consecrate the best years of their lives to 
the cause of human freedom. Amid the moral and 
political darkness which then overshadowed the land, 
the voice of humanity was at length faintly heard, and 
soon aroused opposition; for slavery was rooted and 
engrafted in every fibre of American society. The 
imprisonment of Mr. Garrison at Baltimore, at once 
directed public attention to the heinous sin which he 
was attacking, and called around him some of the 
purest and best men of the country. 

The Boston mob of 1835 gave new impulse to the 
agitation, and brought fresh aid to the pioneer of the 
movement. Then came the great battle for freedom 
of speech and the press; a battle in which the heroism 
of this small body of proscribed men and women had 



ample room to show their genius and abilities. The 
bold and seeming audaeity with which they attacked 
slavery in every corner where the monster had taken 
refuge, even in the face of lynchings, riots, and mur- 
ders, carried with it a charm which wrung applause 
from the sympathizing heart throughout the world, and 
showed that the American Abolitionists possessed a 
persistency and a courage which had never found a 
parallel in the annals of progress and reform. 

In the spring cf 1850, we attended a meeting of the 
Executive Committee of the American Anti-slavery 
Society, as it w r as then organized, and we shall write 
of the members as they appeared at that time. The 
committee was composed of twelve persons besides the 
chairman, and were seated around a long table. At 
the head of the table sat William Lloyd Garrison, the 
Chairman of the Board, and the acknowledged leader 
of the movement. His high and prominent forehead, 
piercing eye, pleasant, yet anxious countenance, long 
nose, and smile upon his lips, point him out at once 
as a man born to guide and direct. 

The deference with which he is treated by his asso- 
ciates shows their appreciation of his abilities and 
his moral worth. Tender and blameless in his family 
affections, devoted to his friends, simple and studious, 
upright, guileless, distinguished, and worthy, like the 
great men of antiquity, to be immortalized by another 
Plutarch. As a speaker, he is forcible, clear, and 
logical; as a writer, he has always been regarded as 
one of the ablest in our country. How many services, 
never to be forgotten, has he not rendered to the cause 
of the slave and the welfare of mankind. 

Many of those who started out with him in young 


manhood, when he left his Newburyport home, were 
swept away like so much floating wood before the tide. 

When the sturdiest characters gave way, when tho 
finest geniuses passed one after another under the yoke 
of slavery, Garrison stood firm to his convictions, like 
a rock that stands stirless amid the conflicting agita- 
tion of the waves. He is not only the friend and advo- 
cate of freedom with his pen and tongue, but to the 
oppressed of every clime he opens his purse, his house, 
and his heart. In days past, the fugitive slave, fresh 
from the prison-house of the South, who was turned 
off by the politician, and had experienced the cold 
shoulder of the divine, found a warm bed and break- 
fast under the hospitable roof of William Lloyd Gar- 

The society whose executive committee is now in 
session, is one of no inconsiderable influence in the 
United States. No man has had more bitter enemies 
or stauncher friends than Mr. Garrison. 

There are those among his friends who would stake 
their all upon his veracity and integrity; and we are 
sure that the colored people throughout America, in 
whose cause he has so long labored, will with one 
accord assign the highest niche in their affections to 
the champion of universal emancipation. This is not 
intended as an eulogium, for no words of ours could 
add the weight of a feather to the world-wide fame 
of William Lloyd Garrison; but we simply wish to 
record the acknowledgment of a grateful negro to the 
most distinguished friend of his race. 

On the right of the chairman sat Wendell Phillips, 
America's ablest orator. He is a little above the 
middle height, well made, and remarkably graceful in 


person. His golden hair is now growing thin and 
changing its color, and his youthful look has gone; 
but he shows no yielding to age, and is in the full 
maturity of his powers. Descended from one of the 
oldest and most cultivated stock of New England's 
sons; educated at the first university; graduating with 
all the honors which the college could bestow on him; 
studying law with Judge Story, and becoming a 
member of the bar; he has all the accomplishments 
that these advantages can give to a man of a great 

Nature has treated Mr. Phillips as a favorite. His 
expressive countenance paints and reflects every emo- 
tion of his soul. His gestures, like his delivery, are 
wonderfully graceful. There is a fascination in the 
soft gaze of his eyes, which none can but admire. 
Being a close student, and endowed by Nature with a 
retentive memory, he supplies himself with the most 
complicated dates and historical events. Nothing can 
surpass the variety of his matter. He extracts from 
a subject all that it contains, and does it as none but 
Wendell Phillips can. His voice is beautifully musi- 
cal, and it is calculated to attract wherever it is heard. 
He is a man of calm intrepidity, of a patriotic and 
warm heart, with temper the most gentle, a rectitude 
of principle entirely natural , a freedom from ambition, 
and a modesty quite singular. 

His speeches upon, every subject upon which he has 
spoken, will compare favorably with anything ever 
uttered by Pitt or Sheridan in their palmiest days. 
No American is so eagerly reported in Europe, in 
what he says on the platform, as Mr. Phillips. His 
appeal for Cretan independence was circulated in the 


language of Demosthenes and Isocrates through Greece 
and its islands, and reached the ears of the moun- 
taineers of Crete, for whom he spoke. 

But it is in the Anti-slavery cause that we love to 
write of him. As a speaker on that platform, he has 
never had an equal; and the good he has rendered 
the slave by his eloquent speeches can never be esti- 

Considering his position in society, his talents and 
prospects when in youth he entered the ranks of the 
proscribed and hated Abolitionists, we feel that Mr. 
Phillips has sacrificed more upon the altar of freedom 
than any other living man. 

On the opposite side of the table from Mr. Phillips, 
sits Edmund Quincy, the ripe scholar and highly-cul- 
tivated gentleman and interesting writer. If he is 
not so eloquent a speaker as his friend Phillips, he is 
none the less staunch in his adherence to principle. 
He is one of the best presiding officers that New 
England can produce. 

A little farther down on the same side is Francis 
Jackson. His calm Roman face, large features, well- 
developed head, and robust-looking frame tells you at 
once that he is a man of courage. He was one of the 
first to take his stand by the side of Mr. Garrison; 
and when the mob in 1835 broke up the anti-slavery 
meeting held by the ladies, Mr. Jackson, with a moral 
courage scarcely ever equalled, came forward and 
offered his private dwelling to them to hold their 
meeting in. 

Still farther down on the same side sits Maria Wes- 
ton Chapman, the well-read and accomplished lady, 
the head and heart of the Anti-slavery Bazaar. Many 


an influential woman has been induced to take part in 
the Bazaar and Subscription Festival, solely on ac- 
count of the earnest eloquence and polished magnetism 
of Mrs. Chapman. By her side sits her gifted little 
sister, Anne Warren Weston. On the opposite side 
of the table is Samuel May, Jr., the able and efficient 
general agent of the Society. To his perseverance, 
industry, gentlemanly manners, and good sense, the 
Society owes much of its success. In the earlier 
days of the movement, Mr. May left the pulpit and a 
lucrative salary, that he might devote his time to the 
cause in which his heart had lon<* been engaged. 
Mr. May is an earnest speaker, and never takes the 
platform unless he has something to say. He is sim- 
ple, plain, and one of the best of w friends. It was the 
good fortune of the writer to be associated with him 
for a number of years; and he never looks back to 
those days but with the best feeling and most profound 
respect for the moral character and Christian worth of 
Samuel May, Jr. 

Not far from Mr. May sat Charles F. Hovey, the 
princely Summer Street merchant, the plain, honest, 
outspoken man whose heart felt the wrongs of the 
oppressed as keenly as if he himself had been one of 
the race. Gathered since to his heavenly rest, he be- 
queathed a large sum of money to carry on the battle 
for the negro's freedom. Farther down the table was 
JEliza Lee Follen, whose poems in favor of liberty have 
.so often been sung in our anti-slavery conventions. 
Sydney Howard Gay, the polished writer, the editor 
of the Society's organ, occupied a seat next to Mrs. 
Follen. With small frame, finely-cut features, and 
pleasant voice, he is ever listened to with marked atten- 


tion. Mr. Gay is a gentleman in every sense of the 

Near the end of the table is William I. Bowditch, 
the able scholar, the ripe lawyer, the devoted friend of 
freedom. Lastly, there is Charles K. Whipple, the 
"C. K .W.," of "The Liberator," and the "North," of 
the "Anti-slavery Standard." A stronger executive 
board for a great moral object probably never existed. 
They were men and women in whom the public had 
the utmost confidence, individually, for rectitude of 

There were also present on this occasion five persons 
who were not members of the board, but whose long 
and arduous labors entitled them to a seat around the 
table. These were Samuel J. May, Lyclia Maria Child, 
James and Lucretia Mott, and Thomas Garrett; and 
of these we shall now make mention. 

Born in Boston, educated in her unsurpassed schools, 
a graduate of Harvard University, and deeply imbued 
with the spirit and teachings of the great leader of our 
salvation, and a philanthropist by nature, Samuel J. 
May was drawn to the side of Mr. Garrison by the 
force of sympathy. He was a member of the Phila- 
delphia Convention in 1833, at the formation of the 
American Anti-slavery Society, and his name is ap- 
pended to the immortal "Declaration of Sentiments," 
penned by Garrison, his life-long friend. When Pru- 
dence Crandall was imprisoned at Canterbury, Connec- 
ticut, for the crime of teaching colored girls to read, 
her most attached friend was Samuel J. May. He 
defended the persecuted woman, and stood by her till 
she was liberated. Although closely confined to his 
duties as preacher of the Gospel, Mr. May gave much 


of Lis time to the slaves' cause. As a speaker, he was 
always interesting; for his sweet spirit and loving 
nature won to him the affectionate regard of all with 
whom he came in contact. As an Abolitionist, none 
were more true, more fearless. His house was long 
the home of the fugitive slaves passing through Syra- 
cuse, New York, and his church was always open to 
the anti-slavery lecturer when others were shut against 

L} T dia Maria Child early embraced the cause of the 
enslaved ncsro. Her sketches of some of the intcllcc- 
tual characters of the race appeared more than thirty 
years ago, and created considerable sensation from the 
boldness with which she advocated the black man's 

James and Lucrctia Mott were amongst the first in 
Pennsylvania to take the stand by the side of Mr. Gar- 
rison in defence of negro freedom. They were Aboli- 
tionists in every sense of the term', even to their 
clothing and food, for they were amongst the earliest 
to encourage the introduction of free-labor goods as 
a means of breaking up slavery, by reducing the value 
of the products of the slave's toil. As a speaker, 
Mrs. Mott was doubtless the most eloquent woman 
that America ever produced. A highly-cultivated and 
reflective mind, thoroughly conversant with the ne- 
gro's suffering, hating everything that savored of 
oppression, whether religiously or politically, and 
possessing the brain and the courage, Mrs. Mott's 
speeches were always listened to with the closest atten- 
tion and the greatest interest. 

Mr. Mott took little or no part in public gather- 
ings; but his suggestions on committees, and his 


advice generally, were reliable. He gave of his means 
liberally, and seconded every movement of bis noble 

Thomas Garrett was an Abolitionist from his youth 
up; and though the grand old cause numbered among 
its supporters, poets, sages, and statesmen, it had no 
more faithful worker in its ranks than Thomas Garrett. 
The work of this good man lay in Delaware, odc of 
the meanest states in the Union, and the services 
which he rendered the free colored people of that 
State in their efforts to rise above the prejudice ex- 
hibited against their race can never bo estimated. 

But it was as a friend of the bondman escaping from 
his oppressor that Mr. Garrett w T as most widely 
known. For more than forty years he devoted himself 
to aiding the runaway slave in getting his freedom. 

We have written of the executive officers of the 
most radical wing of the Anti-slavery movement, yet 
there was still another band whoso labors were, if pos- 
sible, more arduous, and deserve as much praise as any 
of whom w T e have made mention. 

These were the lecturing agents, the men and women 
who performed the field service, the most difficult 
part of all the work. They went from city to city^ 
and from town to town, urging the claims of the slave 
to his freedom; uttering truths that the people were 
not prepared for, and receiving in return, rotten eggs^ 
sticks, stones, and the condemnation of the public 
generally. Many of these laborers neither asked nor 
received any compensation; some gave their time and 
paid their own expenses, satisfied with having an 
opportunity to work for humanity. 

In the front rank of this heroic and fearless band, 


stood Abby Kelly Foster, the Joan of Arc, of the 
anti-slavery movement. Born, we believe, in the 
Society of Friends, and retaining to a great extent 
the seriousness of early training, convinced of the 
heinousncss of slavery, she threw comfort, case, and 
everything aside, and gave herself, in the bloom of 
young womanhood, to the advocacy of the right of the 
negro to his freedom. We first met Mrs. Foster 
(then Miss Kelly), about thirty years ago, at Buffalo, 
in the State of New York, and for the first time lis- 
tened to a lecture against the hated system from which 
we had so recently escaped. 

Somewhat, above the common height, slim, but well- 
proportioned, finely-developed forehead and a pleasing 
countenance, eyes bright, voice clear, gestures a little 
nervous, and dressed in a plain manner, Mrs. Foster's 
appearance on that occasion made a deep and lasting 
impression upon her audience. The life-like pictures 
which she drew of the helpless condition of her sisters 
in chains brought tears to many eyes, and when she 
demanded that these chains should be broken they 
responded with wild applause. 

As a speaker, Mrs. Foster is logical, forcible; leap- 
ing from irony to grave argument. Her illustrations, 
anecdotes, and figures arc always to the point. She is 
sharp and quick at repartee. In the earlier days of 
the movement, she was considered very able in discus- 
sion. At Buffalo, where we first heard her, she basted 
one of our ablest lawyers until he acknowledged the 
fact, amid loud applause. Mrs. Foster was at times 
harsh, but not harsher than truth. She is uncom- 
promising, and always reliable in a public meeting 
where discussion on reformatory questions is under con- 


sideration. This lady gave the best years of her use- 
ful life to the redemption of the negro from slavery. 

We may well give Stephen S. Foster a place by the 
side of his noble wife. He, too, embraced the cause 
of the slave at the dawn of the agitation of the sub- 
ject, and at once became one of its ablest advocates. 
In downright field-work, as a lecturer, he did more 
than any other man. Mr. Foster was the most un- 
popular of all the anti-slavery agents; and simply 
because he "hewed to the line and the plummet,'' not 
caring in whose face the chips flew. He was always at 
home in a discussion, and woe betide the person who 
fell into his hands. His announcement of his subject 
often startled his hearers, and even his best friends 
and associates would sometimes feel that he had over- 
stated the question. But he always more than proved 
what he had said in the outset. In private life he is 
almost faultless; proverbially honest, trustworthy, and 
faithful in all his dealings, possessing in the estimation 
of his neighbors a high moral character. 

Parker Pillsbury entered the field as an advocate of 
freedom about the same time as did Mr. Foster, and 
battled nobly for the oppressed. 

Charles L. Rcmond was, we believe, the first man 
of color to take the platform as a regular lecturer in 
the anti-slavery cause, and was, no doubt, the ablest 
representative that the race had till the appearance of 
Frederick Douglass, in 1842. Mr. Eemond prided 
himself more as the representative of the educated free 
man of color, and often alluded to the fact that "not 
a drop of slave blood" coursed through his veins. 
Mr. llcmond has little or no originality, but his 
studied elocutionary powers, and fine flow of language, 


together with his being a colored man, always gained 
for him an attentive hearing. But the genius and 
originality of Frederick Douglass, and his unadorned 
eloquence, overshadowed and threw Rcmond in the 
shade. This so soured the latter that he never recov- 
ered from it, and even at the present timo speaks 
disparagingly of his early friend and associate. How- 
ever, both of these gentlemen did much to bring about 
the abolition of American Slavery. 

Conspicuous among the advocates of freedom, almost 
from its earliest dawn to its close, was Charles C. 
Burleigh, the devoted friend of humanity. Nature has 
been profuse in showering her gifts upon Mr. Burleigh, 
but all have been bestowed upon his head and heart. 
There is a kind of eloquence which weaves its thread 
around the hearer, and gradually draws him into its 
web, fascinating him with its gaze, entangling him as 
the spider docs the fly, until he is fast. Such is the 
eloquence of Charles C. Burleigh. As a debater, he is 
unquestionably the ablest who took sides with the 
slave. If he did not speak so fast, he would equal 
Wendell Phillips; if he did not reason his subject out 
of existence, he would surpass him. Cyrus M. Bur- 
leigh also did good service in the anti-slavery cause, 
both as a lecturer and editor of "The Pennsylvania 

If Lucy Stone did not come into the field as early as 
some of whom wo have made mention, she brought 
with her when she did an earnestness and enthusiasm 
that gave her an attentive audience wherever she 
spoke. Under the middle size, hair generally cut 
short, round face, eyes sparkling, not handsome, yet 
good to look upon, always plainly dressed., not a single 


dollar for diamonds, but a heart gushing for humanity, 
Lucy Stone at once became one of the most popular of 
the anti-slavery speakers. Her arguments are forcible, 
her appeals pathetic, her language plain, and at times 
classical. She is ready in debate, fertile in illustra- 
tion, eloquent in enunciation, and moves a congregation 
as few can. 

For real, earnest labor, as a leader of a corps of 
agents in a reformatory movement, Susan B. Anthony 
has few equals. As a speaker, she is full of facts and 
illustrations, and at times truly eloquent. Susan is 
always reliable; and if any of her travelling compan- 
ions arc colored, her hawk-eye is ever on the watch to 
sec that their rights arc not invaded on the score of 
their complexion. The writer's dark skin thoroughly 
tested Miss Anthony's grit some years ago at Cleve- 
land, Ohio; but when weighed, she was not found 
wanting. On that occasion she found an efficient 
backer in our able and eloquent friend, Aaron M. 
Powell. These two, backed by the strong voice and 
earnest words of Andrew T. Foss, brought the hotel- 

7 c 

keeper to his senses; and the writer was allowed to go 
to the dinner-table, and eat with white folks. Mr. 
Powell has for some years been the sole editor of the 
"Anti-Slavery Standard," and as editor and speaker 
has rendered a lusting service to the cause of nesro 
freedom. Andrew T.,Foss left his pulpit some twenty 
years ago, to devote his entire time to the discussion 
of the principles of liberty, where his labors were 
highly appreciated. 

Sal lie Ilollic filled an important niche on the anti- 
slavery platform. Her Orthodox antecedents, her 
scriptural knowledge, her prayerful and eloquent ap- 


peals obtained for her admission into churches when 
many others were refused; yet she was as uncom- 
promising as truth. 

Oliver Johnson gave his young manhood to the 
negro's cause when to be an Abolitionist cost more 
than words. lie was, in the earlier days of the move- 
ment, one of the hardest workers, both as a lecturer 
and writer, that the cause had. Mr. Johnson is a 
cogent reasoner, a deep thinker, a ready debater, an 
accomplished writer, and an eloquent speaker. He 
has at times edited the "Herald of Freedom," "Anti- 
Slavery Standard," and "Anti-Slavery Bugle;" and 
has at all times been one of the most uncompromising 
and reliable of the "Old Guard." 

Henry C. Wright was also among the early adher- 
ents to the doctrine of universal and immediate eman- 
cipation, and gave the cause the best years of his life. 

Giles B. Stebbins, a ripe scholar, an acute thinker, 
earnest and able as a speaker, devoted to what he 
conceives to bo right, was for years one of the most 
untiring of freedom's advocates. 

Of those who occasionally volunteered their services 
without money and without price, few struck harder 
blows at the old Bastilo of slavery than James N. 
Buff una,, a man of the people, whose abilities have 
been appreciated and acknowledged by his election 
as mayor of his own city of Lynn. 

James Miller McKim wjs one of the signers of the 
Declaration of Sentiments, at Philadelphia, in 1833, 
and ever after gave his heart and his labors to the 
slave's cause. For many years the leading man in 
the Anti-slavery Society in Pennsylvania, Mr. Mc- 
Kim 's labors were arduous, yet he never swerved 


from duty. He is a scholar, well read, and is a good 
speaker, only a little nervous. His round face indi- 
cates perseverance that will not falter, and integ- 
rity that will not disappoint. He always enjoyed 
the confidence of the Abolitionists throughout the 
country, and is regarded as a man of high moral 
character. Of the underground railroad through Penn- 
sylvania, Mr. McKim knows more than any man ex- 
cept William Still. 

Mary Grew, for her earnest labors, untiring activity, 
and truly eloquent speeches, was listened to with great 
interest and attention wherever she spoke. A more 
zealous and able friend the slave never had in Penn- 

Lucrctia Mott, the most eloquent woman that America 
ever produced, was a life-long Abolitionist, of the 
straightest kind. For years her clothing, food, and 
eveu the paper that she wrote her letters on, were the 
products of free labor. Thirty years ago we saw Mrs. 
Mott take from her pocket a little paper bag filled 
with sugar, and sweeten her tea. We then learned 
that it was her practice so to do when travelling, to 
be sure of having free sugar. 

A phrenologist would pronounce her head faultless. 
She has a thoughtful countenance, eyes beaming with 
intelligence, and a voice of much compass. Mrs. Mott 
speaks hesitatingly at times, when she begins her re- 
marks, and then words flow easily, and every word 
has a thought. She was always a favorite with the 
Abolitionists, and a welcome speaker at their anni- 
versary meetings. 

This was the radical wing of the Abolitionists, — 
men and women who believed mainly in moral sua- 


sion. Outside of these were many others who were 
equally sincere, and were laboring with all their pow- 
ers to bring about emancipation, and to some of them 
I shall now call attention. 

Some thirty years ago we met for the first time a 
gentleman of noble personal appearance, being about 
six feet in height, well-proportioned; forehead high 
and broad; large dark eyes, full of expression; hair 
brown, and a little tinged with gray. The fascination 
of his smiling gaze, and the hearty shake of his large, 
soft hand, made us feel at home when we were intro- 
duced to Gcrrit Smith. His comprehensive and well- 
cultivated mind, his dignified and deliberate manner 
and musical voice fit him for what he is, — one of 
Nature's noblest orators. Speaking is not the finest 
trait in the character of Mr. Smith, but his great, 
large heart, every pulsation of which beats for human- 
ity, lie brought to the negro's cause wealth and 
position, and laid it all upon the altar of his redemp- 
tion. In the year 184G he gave three thousand farms 
to the same number of colored men; and three years 
later he gave a farm each to one thousand white men, 
with ten thousand dollars to be divided amongst 

Mr. Smith has spent in various ways many hundred 
thousand dollars for the liberation and elevation of 
the blacks of this country. Next to Mr. Smith, in 
the State of New York, is .Bcriah Greene, whose long 
devotion to the cause of freedom is known throughout 
our land. Many of the colored men whose career have 
done honor to the race, owe their education to Mr. 
Greene. He is the most radical churchman we know 
of, always right on the question of slavery. lie did 


much in the early clays of the agitation, and his 
speeches were considered amongst the finest produc- 
tions on the anti-slavery platform. 

The old Abolitionists of thirty years ago still remem- 
ber with pleasure the smiling face and intellectual 
countenance of Nathaniel P. Rogers, editor of the 
' 'Herald of Freedom," a weekly newspaper that found 
a welcome wherever it went. Mr. Rogers was a man 
of rare gifts, of a philosophical and penetrating mind, 
high literary cultivation, quick perception, and of a 
most genial nature. He dealt hard blows at the pecu- 
liar institution with both his tongue and his pen. As 
a speaker, ho was more argumentative than eloquent, 
but was always good in a discussion. As an ardent 
friend of Mr. Garrison, and a co-worker with him, 
Mr. Rogers should have been named with the moral 

William Goodcll, a prolific writer, a deep thinker, 
a man of great industry, and whose large eyes indicate 
immense language, has labored long and faithfully for 
justice and humanity. 

John P. Hale was the first man to make a successful 
stand in Congress, and he did his work nobly. His 
free-and-easy manner, his Falstaffian fun, and Crom- 
wellian courage, were always too much for Footc and 
his Southern associates in the Senate, and in every 
contest for freedom the New Hampshire Senator came 
off victorious. Mr. Hale is a large, fat, social man, 
fine head, pleasing countenance, possessing much pun- 
gent wit, irony, and sarcasm; able and eloquent in 
debate, and has always been a true friend of negro 
freedom and elevation. 

Charles Sumner had made his mark in favor of hu- 


manity, and especially in behalf of the colored race, 
long before the doors of the United States Senate 
opened to admit him as a member. In the year 1846, 
he refused to lecture before a New Bedford lyceum, 
because colored citizens were not allowed to occupy 
seats in common with the whites. His lectures and 
speeches all had the ring of the right metal. His 
career in Congress has been one of unsurpassed brill- 
iancy. His oratorical efforts in the capital of the 
nation equal anything ever reported from the forums 
of Rome or Athens. Whatever is designed to pro- 
mote the welfare and happiness of the human race, 
Mr. Sumner has the courage to advocate and defend 
to the last. 

Iu firmness, he may be said to be without a rival 
on the floor of the Senate, and has at times appeared 
a little dogged. However, his foresight and sagacity 
show that he is generally in the right. Mr. Sum- 
ner's efforts in favor of reform have been ably sec- 
onded in Congress by his colleague and friend, Henry 
Wilson, a man of the people, and from the people. 
Without great educatioual attainments, modest in his 
manners, never assuming aristocratic airs, plain, blunt, 
yet gentlemanly, Mr. Wilson has always carried with 
him a tremendous influence; and his speeches exhibit 
great research and much practical common sense. He 
is a hard worker, and in that kind of industry which 
is needed on committees, he is doubtless unequalled. 
As an old-time Whig, a Free-soiler, and a Republi- 
can, Mr. Wilson has always been an Abolitionist of 
the most radical stripe; and in Congress, has done as 
much for negro emancipation, and the elevation of the 
blacks, as any living man. 


Foremost in his own State, as well as in Congress, 
a jt many years, was that good old man, Thaddeus Ste- 
vens, an earnest friend of the poor man, whether white 
or black. Strong in the consciousness of being right, 
he never shrank from any encounter, and nobody said 
more in fewer words, or gave to language a sharper 
bite, than he. On the question of slavery, Mr. Stevens 
was uncompromisingly the negro's friend and faithful 

Joshua E. Giddings, next to John Quincy Adams, 
was the first man, we believe, that really stirred up 
the House of Representatives in behalf of the slave. 
Mr. Giddings was a man without fear, entirely devoted 
to the welfare of mankind; not an orator, in the ac- 
cepted sense of the term, but an able debater; ready 
in facts and illustrations, and always to be relied upon 
when the Southerners attempted to encroach upon free- 
dom. Mr. Giddings never denied, even in the earlier 
days of the agitation, that he was an Abolitionist. 

George W. Julian, of Indiana, entered the halls of 
Congress as an enemy of negro slavery, and, up to the 
present time, stands firm to his early convictions. 

Thomas Russell began life as a friend of negro eman- 
cipation, and wherever his eloquent voice was heard, 
it gave no uncertain sound on the subject of freedom. 
The Judge is a special favorite of the colored men of 
Boston, and richly deserves it; for, as a Collector of 
Customs, he has given employment to a large number 
of the proscribed class. 

Charles W. Slack, the talented editor of "The Com- 
monwealth," — the outspoken friend of liberty, whose 
gentlemanly deportment, polished manners, and sym- 
pathetic heart extend to the negro the same cordial 


welcome in his office that he gives to the white man, — 
is an old-time Abolitionist. The colored clerk in his 
Revenue department is prima facie evidence that he 
has no prejudice against the negro. Both as a speaker 
and a writer, Mr. Slack did the cause of the slave 
great service, when it cost something to bo a friend 
to the race. 



The close of the Rebellion opened to the negro a 
new era in his history. The chains of slavery had 
been severed; and although he had not been clothed 
with all the powers of the citizen, the black man was, 
nevertheless, sure of all his rights being granted, for 
revolutions seldom go backward. With the beginning 
of the work of reconstruction, the right of the negro 
to the ballot came legitimately before the country* 
and brought with it all the virus of ncirro hate that 
could be thought of. President Andrew Johnson threw 
the weight of his official influence into the scales 
against the newly-liberated people, which for a time 
cast a dark shadow over the cause of justice and free- 
dom. Congress, however, by its Constitutional amend- 
ments, settled the question, and clothed the blacks 
with the powers of citizenship; and with their white 
fellow-citizens they entered the reconstruction conven- 
tions, and commenced the work of bringing their states 
back into the Union. This was a trying position for 
the recently enfranchised blacks; for slavery had be- 
queathed to them nothing but poverty, ignorance, and 



dependence upon their former owners for employment 
and the means of sustaining themselves and their fami- 
lies. The transition through which they passed during 
the war, had imparted to some a smattering of educa- 
tion; and this, with the natural aptitude of the negro 
for acquiring, made the colored men appear to advan- 
tage in whatever position they were called to take 

The speeches delivered by some of these men in the 
conventions and state legislatures exl libit a depth of 
thought, flights of eloquence, and civilized statesman- 
ship, that throw their former masters far in the back- 

In the work of reconstruction, the colored men had 
the advantage of being honest and sincere in what they 
undertook, and labored industriously for the good of 
the country. 

The riots in various Southern states, following the 
enfranchising of the men of color, attest the deep-rooted 
prejudice existing with the men who once so misruled 
the rebellious states. In Georgia, Tennessee, and 
Louisiana, these outbursts of ill feeling caused the loss 
of many lives, and the destruction of much propeity. 
No true Union man, white or black, was safe. The 
Constitutional amendment, which gave the ballot to 
the black men of the North in common with their 
brethren of the South, aroused the old pro-slavery feel- 
ing in the free states, which made it scarcely safe for 
the newly enfranchised to venture to the polls on the 
day of election in some of the Northern cities. The 
cry that this was a "white man's government," was 
raised from one end of the country to the other by the 
Democratic press, and the Taney theory that "black 


men had no rights that white men were bound to re- 
sped)," was revived, with all its negro hate. 

Military occupation of the South was all that saved 
the freedmen from destruction. Under it, they were 
able to take part in the various Constitutional and 
Legislative elections, and to hold seats in those bodies* 
As South Carolina had been the most conspicuous in 
the Rebellion, so she was the first to return to the 
Union, and to recognize the political equality of the 
race whom in former days she had bought and sold. 
Her Senate hall, designed to echo the eloquence of the 
Calhouns, the McDuffies, the Hammonds, the Hamp- 
tons, and the Rhetts, has since resounded with the 
speeches of men who were once her bond slaves. Ran- 
sier, the negro, now fills the chair of President of the, 
Senate, where once sat the proud and haughty Cal- 
houn; while Nash, the tall, gaunt, full-blooded negro, - 
speaks in the plantation dialect from the desk in 
which Wade Hampton in former days stood. The 
State is represented in Congress by Elliott, Rainey, 
and De Large. South Carolina submitted quietly to 
her destiny. 

Not so, however, with Georgia. At the election 
in November, 1867, for members to the State Con- 
vention, thirty thousand white and eighty thousand 
colored votes were polled, and a number of colored 
delegates elected. A Constitution was framed and 
ratified, and a Legislature elected under it was con- 
vened. After all this, supposing they had passed be- 
yond Congressional control, the Rebel element in the 
Legislature asserted itself; and many of those whose 
disabilities had been removed by the State Convention, 
which comprised a number of colored members, joined 


in the declaration which was made by that Legislature, 
that a mau having more than one-eighth of African 
blood in his veins was ineligible to office. 

These very men to whom the Republican party 
extended all the rights and privileges of citizenship, of 
which they had deprived themselves, denied political 
equality to a large majority of their fellow-citizens. 
Twenty-eight members were expelled on December 22, 
18G9; an Act of Congress was passed requiring the re- 
assembling of the persons declared elected by the 
military commander, the restoration of the expelled 
members, and the rejection of others, who were dis- 

The expulsion of the cx-rcbels from the Georgia 
Legislature, and the admission of the loyal colored 
men, whose seats had been forcibly taken from them, 
had a good effect upon all the Southern States, for it 
showed that the national administration was deter- 
mined that justice should be done. 

The prompt admission of Hiram It. Revels to a seat 
in the United States Senate from Mississippi, showed 
that progress was the watch-word of the Republican 
party. The appointments of E. D. Bassett as Minister 
to Ilayti, and J. Milton Turner as Consul-General to 
Liberia, set at rest all doubt with regard to the views 
of President Grant, and the negro's political equality. 

In 18G9, colored men, for the first time in the history 
of the District of Columbia, were drawn as jurors, and 
served with white men. This was the crowning event 
of that glorious emancipation which began at the capi- 
tal, and radiated throughout the length and breadth of 
the nation. Since then, one by one, distinguishing 
lines have been erased, and now the black man is 


deemed worthy to participate in all the privileges of 
an American citizen. 

The election of Oscar J. Dunn as Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor of Louisiana, was a triumph which gladdened the 
hearts of his race from Maine to California. Alabama 
sent B. S. Turner to Congress; Florida, J. T. Walls, 
while colored men entered the Legislative halls of sev- 
eral states not named in this connection. 

The National Republican Convention, held at Phila- 
delphia in June, 1872, received as delegates a number 
of colored men, and for the first time in the history 
of Presidential conventions, the negro's voice was 
heard and applauded. 

Education is what we now need, and education we 
must have, at all hazards. Wilberforcc and Avery 
Colleges, and Lincoln University, have all done good 
service. Howard University, Lincoln Institute, Hamp- 
ton Manual Labor School, and Fisk University, are 
harbingers of light to our people. But we need an 
educated ministry; and until we have it, the masses 
will grope in darkness. The cause of Temperance, 
that John the Baptist of reforms, must be introduced 
into every community, and every other method re- 
sorted to by the whites for their elevation should be 
used by the colored men. 

Our young men must be encouraged to enter thB 
various professions, and to become mechanics, and 
thereby lay the foundation for future usefulness. 

An ignorant man will trust to luck for success; an 
educated man will make success. God helps those 
who help themselves. 



In our Sketches of Representative Men and Women, 
some will be found to have scarcely more than a local 
reputation; but they are persons who have contributed, 
of their ability, towards the Freedom of the Race, and 
should not be forgotten. Others bid fair to become 
distinguished in the future. We commence with our 
first hero : — 


Tiie principle that taxation and representation were 
inseparable was in accordance with the theory, the 
genius, and the precedents of British legislation; and 
this principle was now, for the first time, intention- 
ally invaded. The American colonics were not repre- 
sented in Parliament; yet an act was passed by that 
body, the tendency of which was to invalidate all right 
and title to their property. This was the * 'Stamp 
Act," of March 23, 17G5, which ordained that no 
sale, bond, note of hand, nor other instrument of writ- 
ing, should be valid, unless executed on paper bearing 
the stamp prescribed by the home government. Tho 



intelligence of the passage of the stamp act at once 
roused the indignation of the liberty-loving portion 
of the people of the colonies, and meetings were held 
at various points to protest against this high-handed 

Massachusetts was the first to take a stand in oppo- 
sition to the mother country. The merchants and 
traders of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia en- 
tered into non-importation agreements, with a view 
of obtaining a repeal of the obnoxious law. Under 
the pressure of public sentiment, the stamp act offi- 
cers gave in their resignations. The eloquence of 
William Pitt and the sagacity of Lord Camden brought 
about a repeal of the stamp act in the British Parlia- 
ment. A new ministry, in 1767, succeeded in getting 
through the House of Commons a bill to tax the tea 
imported into the American colonies, and it received 
the royal assent. Massachusetts again took the lead 
in opposing the execution of this last act, and Boston 
began planning to take the most conspicuous part in 
the great drama. The agitation in the colonics pro- 
voked the home government, and power was given to 
the governor of Massachusetts to take notice of all 
persons who might offer any treasonable objections to 
these oppressive enactments, that the same might be 
sent home to England to bo tried there. Lord North 
was now at the head of affairs, and no leniency was to 
be shown to the colonics. The concentration of Brit- 
ish troops in large numbers at Boston convinced the 
people that their liberties were at stake, and they 
began to rail v. 

A crowded and enthusiastic meeting, held in Boston, 
in the latter part of the year 17G9, was addressed by 


the ablest talent that the progressive clement could 
produce. Standing in the back part of the hall, eagerly 
listening to the speakers, was a dark mulatto man, very 
tall, rather good-looking, and apparently, about fifty 
years of age. This was Crispus Attucks. Though 
taking no part in the meeting, he was nevertheless 
destined to be conspicuous in the first struirsrlc in 
throwing off the British yoke. Twenty years previous 
to this, Attucks was the slave of William Brouno, Esq., 
of Framingham, Massachusetts; but his was a heart 
beating for freedom, and not to be kept in the chains 
of mental or bodily servitude. 

From the "Boston Gazette" of Tuesday, November 
20, 1750, I copy the following advertisement: — 

"Ran away from his master William Brouno Fram- 
ingham, on the 30th of Sept., last, a Molatto Fellow, 
about 27 years of Age named Crispus, well set, six 
feet 2 inches high, short curl'd. Hair, knees nearer 
together than common ; had on a li^lit coloured Bear- 
skill Coat, brown Fustian jacket, new Buckskin 
Breeches, blew yarn Stockins and Checkered Shirt. 
Whoever shall take up said Runaway, and convey 
him to his above said Master at Framingham, shall 
have Ten Pounds, old Tenor Reward and all necessary 
charges paid." 

The above is a verbatim et literatim advertisement 
for a runaway slave one hundred and twenty-two years 
ago. Whether Mr. Brouno succeeded in recapturing 
Crispus or not, wo arc left in the dark. 

Ill-feeling between the mother country and her colo- 
nial subjects had been gaining ground, while British 


troops were concentrating at Boston. On the 5th of 
March, 1770, the people were seen early congregating 
at the corners of the principal streets, at Dock Square, 
and near the Custom House. Captain Preston, with 
a body of redcoats, started out for the purpose of 
keeping order in the disaffected town, and was hissed 
at by the crowds in nearly every place where he ap- 
peared. The day passed off without any outward 
manifestation of disturbance, but all seemed to feel 
that something would take place after nightfall. The 
doubling of the guard in and about the Custom House 
showed the authorities felt an insecurity that they did 
not care to express. The lamps in Dock Square threw 
their light in the angry faces of a large crowd who 
appeared to be waiting for the crisis, in whatever form 
it should come. A part of Captain Preston's" company 
was making its way from the Custom House, when 
they were met by the crowd from Dock Square, headed 
by the black man Attucks, who was urging them to 
meet the redcoats, and drive them from the streets. 
* 'These rebels have no business here," said ho; "let's 
drive them away." The people became enthusiastic, 
their brave leader grew more daring in his language 
and attitude, while the soldiers under Captain Preston 
appeared to give way. "Come on! don't be afraid!" 
cried Attucks. "They dare not shoot; and, if thc\ 
dare, let them do it." 

Stones and sticks, with which the populace were 
armed, were freely used, to the great discomfiture 
of tho Eno'lish soldiers. "Don't hesitate! come on! 
We'll drive these rebels out of Boston!" were the 
last words heard from the lips of the colored man, for 
the sharp crack of muskets silenced his voice, and 


he fell weltering in his blood. Two balls had pierced 
his sable breast. Thus died Crisp us Attucks, the first 
martyr to American liberty, and the inaugurator of the 
revolution that was destined to take from the crown of 
George the Third its brightest star. An immense con- 
course of citizens followed the remains of the hero to 
its last resting-place, and his name was honorably 
mentioned in the best circles. The last words, the 
daring, and the death of Attucks gave spirit and enthu- 
siasm to the revolution, and his heroism was imitated 
by both whites and blacks. His name was a rallying 
cry for the brave colored men who fought at the battle 
of Bunker's Hill. In the gallant defence of Ilcdbauk, 
where four hundred blacks met and defeated fifteen 
hundred Hessians, headed by Count Donop, the thought 
of Attucks filled them with ardor. When Colonel 
Green fell at Groton, surrounded by his black troops 
who perished with him, they went into the battle 
feeling proud of the opportunity of imitating the first 
martyr of the American revolution. 

No monument has yet been erected to him. An 
effort was made in the legislature of Massachusetts a 
few years since, but without success. Five genera- 
tions of accumulated prejudice against the negro had 
excluded from the American mind all inclination to 
do justice to one of her bravest sons. Now that 
slavery is abolished, we may hope, in future years, 
to sec a monument raised to commemorate the heroism 
of Crisp us Attucks. 



In the year 17G1, when Boston had her slave market, 
and the descendants of the Pilgrims appeared to bo the 
most pious and God-fearing people in the world, Mrs. 
John Wheatlcy went into the market one day, for the 
purpose of selecting and purchasing a girl for her own 
use. Among the group of children just imported from 
the African coast was a delicately-built, rather good- 
looking child of seven or eight years, apparently suf- 
fering from the recent sea-voyage and change of 
climate. Mrs. Wheatlcy's heart was touched at the 
interesting countenance and humble modesty of this 
little stranger. The lady bought the child, and she 
was named Phillis. Struck with the slave's uncommon 
brightness, the mistress determined to teach her to 
rend, which she did with no difficulty. The child soon 
mastered the English lansua^c, with which she was 

O CO 7 

totally unacquainted when she landed upon the xlmcri- 
ean shores. 

Her school lessons were all perfect, and she drank 
in the Scriptural teachings as if by intuition. At the 
age of twelve, she could write letters and keep up a 
correspondence that would have done honor to one 
double her years. Mrs. Wheatlcy, seeing her superior 
genius, no longer regarded Phillis as a servant, but 
took her as a companion. It was not surprising that the 
slave-girl shouLl be an object of attraction, astonish- 
ment, and attention with the refined and highly- 
cultivated society that weekly assembled in the draw- 
ing-room of the Wheatlcy s. 

As Phillis grew up to womanhood, her progress and 


attainments kept pace with the promise of her earlier 
years. She drew around her the best educated of the 
white ladies, and attracted the attention and notice of 
the literary characters of Boston, who supplied her 
with books, and encouraged the ripening of her intel- 
lectual powers. She studied the Latin tongue, and 
translated one of Ovid's tales, which was no sooner 
put in print in America, than it was republished in 
London, with elegant commendations from the reviews. 

In 1773, a small volume of her poems, containing 
thirty-nine pieces, was published in London, and dedi- 
cated to the Countess of Huntingdon. The genuine- 
ness of this work was established in the first page of 
the volume, by a document signed by the governor of 
Massachusetts, the lieutenant-governor, her master, 
and fifteen of the most respectable and influential citi- 
zens of Boston, who were acquainted with her talents 
and the circumstances of her life. Ilcr constitution 
being naturally fragile, she was advised by her physi- 
cian to take a sea voyage, as the means of restoring her 
declining health. 

Phillis was emancipated by her master at the age of 
twenty-one years, and sailed for England. On her 
arrival, she was received and admired in the first cir- 
cles of London society; and it was at that time that 
her poems were collected and published in a volume, 
with a portrait and a memoir of the authoress. Phil- 
lis returned to America, and married Dr. Peters, a 
man of her own color, and of considerable talents. 
Her health began rapidly to decline, and she died at 
the age of twenty-six years, in 1780. Fortunately 
rescued from the fate that awaits the victims of the 
slave-trade, this injured daughter of Africa had an 


opportunity of developing the genius that God had 
given her, and of showing to the world the great wrong 
done to her race. 

Although her writings are not free from imperfec- 
tions of style and sentiment, her verses are full of 
philosophy, beauty, and sublimity. It cost her no 
effort to round a period handsomely, or polish a sen- 
tence until it became transparent with splendor. She 
was easy, forcible, and eloquent in language, and 
needed but health and a few more years of experience 
to have. made her a poet of greater note. 


The services rendered to science, to liberty, and to 
the intellectual character of the negro by Bannekcr, 
are too great for us to allow his name to sleep, and his 
genius and merits to remain hidden from the world. 

Benjamin Bannekcr was born in the State of Mary- 
land, in the year 1732, of pure African parentage; 
their blood never having been corrupted by the intro- 
duction of a drop of Anglo-Saxon. His father was a 
slave, and of course could do nothing towards the 
education of the child. The mother, however, being 
free, suceeded in purchasing the freedom of her hus- 
band, and they, with their son, settled on a few acres 
of land, where Benjamin remained during the lifetime 
of his parents. 

His entire schooling was {mined from an obscure 
country school, established for the education of the 


children of free negroes; and these advantages were 
poor, for the boy appears to have finished studying 
before he arrived at his fifteenth year. Although out 
of school, Banneker was still a student, and read with 
great care and attention such books as he could get. 
Mr. George Ellicott, a gentleman of fortune and con- 
siderable literary taste, and who resided near to Benja- 
min, became interested in him, and lent him books 
from his large library. Among these books were 
Mayer's Tables, Fcrgusson's Astronomy, and Lead- 
beater's Lunar Tables. A few old and imperfect 
astronomical instruments also found their way into the 
boy's hands, all of which he used with great benefit to 
his own mind. 

Banneker took delight in the study of the languages, 
and soon mastered the Latin, Greek, and German. 
He was also proficient in the French. The classics 
were not neglected by him, and the general literary 
knowledge which he possessed caused Mr. Ellicott to 
regard him as the most learned man in the town, and 
he never failed to introduce Banneker to his most dis- 
tinguished guests. 

About this time, Benjamin turned his attention par- 
ticularly to Astronomy, and determined on making cal- 
culations for an almanac, and completed a set for the 
whole year. Encouraged by this attempt, he entered 
upon calculations for subsequent years, which, as well 
as the former, he began and finished without the least 
assistance from any person or books than those already 
mentioned; so that whatever merit is attached to his 
performance is exclusively his own. 

He published an almanac in Philadelphia for the 
years 1792-3-4-5, and which contained his calcula- 


tions, exhibiting the different aspects of the planets, a 
table of the motions of the sun and moon, their risings 
and settings, and the courses of the bodies of the plane- 
tary system. 

By this time, Bannekcr's acquirements had become 
generally known, and the best scholars in the country 
opened correspondence with him. Goddard & Angell, 
the well-known Baltimore publishers, engaged his pen 
for their establishment, and became the publishers of 
his almanacs. A copy of his first production was sent 
to Thomas Jefferson, together with a letter intended 
to interest the great statesman in the cause of negro 
emancipation and the elevation of the negro race, in 
which he says : — 

"It is a truth too well attested to need a proof here, 
that we are a race of beings who have long labored 
under the abuse and censure of the world; that wo 
have long been looked upon with an eye of contempt, 
and considered rather as brutish than human, and 
scarcely capable of mental endowments. I hope I may 
safely admit, in consequence of the report which has 
reached me, that you are a man far less inflexible in 
sentiments of this nature than many others; that you 
are measurably friendly and well disposed towards us, 
and that you are willing to lend your aid and assistance 
for our relief from those many distresses and numerous 
calamities to which we are reduced. 

"If this is founded in truth, I apprehend you will 
embrace every opportunity to eradicate that train of 
absurd and false ideas and opinions which so generally 
prevail with respect to us, and that your sentiments are 
concurrent with mine, — which are, that one universal 
Father hath given being to us all ; that he hath not 


only made us all of one flesh, but that he hath also, 
without partiality, afforded us all the same sensations, 
and endowed us all with the same faculties; and that, 
however variable we may be in society or religion, 
however diversified in situation or in color, we are all 
of the same family, and stand in the same relation to 
him. If these are sentiments of which 3011 arc fully 
persuaded, you cannot but acknowledge that it is the 
indispensable duty of those who maintain the rights 
of human nature, and who profess the obligations of 
Christianity, to extend their power and influence to the 
relief of every part of the human race from whatever 
burden or oppression they may unjustly labor under; 
and this, I apprehend a full conviction of the truth 
and obligation of these principles should lead all to. 

"I have long been convinced that if your love for 
yourselves, and for those inestimable laws which pre- 
served to you the rights of human nature, is founded on 
sincerity, ^<>u cannot help being solicitous that every 
individual, of whatever rank or distinction, miirht with 
you equally enjoy the blessings thereof; neither can 
you rest satisfied short of the most active effusion of 
your exertions, in order to effect their promotion from 
any state of degradation to which the unjustifiable 
cruelty and barbarism of men may have reduced them. 

4 'I freely and cheerfully acknowledge that I am one 
of the African race, and in that color which is natural 
to them, of the deepest dye; and it is under a sense of 
the most profound gratitude to the Supreme Ruler of 
the universe, that I now confess to you that I am not 
under that state of tyrannical thraldom and inhuman 
captivity to which too many of my brethren are 
doomed: but that I have abundantly tasted of the 


fruition of those blessings which proceed from that 
free and unequalled liberty with which you are favored, 
and which I hope you will willingly allow you have 
mercifully received from the immediate hand of that 
Being from whom proceedeth every good and perfect 


4 'Your knowledge of the situation of my brethren is 
too extensive to need a recital here ; neither shall I 
presume to prescribe methods by which they may be 
relieved, otherwise than by recommending to you and 
to others to wean yourselves from those narrow preju- 
dices which you have imbibed with respect to them, 
and, as Job proposed to his friends, 'put your soul in 
their souls' stead.' Thus shall your hearts be en- 
larged with kindness aad benevolence towards them; 
and thus shall you need neither the direction of myself 
or others in what manner to proceed herein. 
The calculation for this almanac is the production of 
my arduous study in my advanced stage of life ; for 
having long had unbounded desires to become ac- 
quainted with the secrets of nature, I have had to 
gratify my curiosity herein through my own assiduous 
application to astronomical study, in which I need not 
recount to you the many difficulties and disadvantages 
which I have had to encounter." 

Mr. Jefferson at once replied, and said: — 
"I thank you sincerely for your letter and the 
almanac it contained. Nobody wishes more than I do 
to see such proofs as you exhibit, that Nature has given 
to our black brethren talents equal to those of the other 
colors of men, and that the appearance of the want of 
them is owing merely to the degraded condition of their 
existence, both in Africa and America. I can add with 


truth, that nobody wishes more ardently to see a good 
system commenced for raising their condition, both of 
their body and their mind, to what it ought to be, as 
far as the imbecility of their present existence, and 
other circumstances, which cannot be neglected, will 
admit. I have taken the liberty of sending your 
almanac to Monsieur de Condorcet, secretary of the 
Academy of Sciences at Paris, and a member of the 
Philanthropic Society, because I consider it as a docu- 
ment to which your whole color have a right, for their 
justification against the doubts which have been enter- 
tained of them." 

The letter from Banneker, together with the almanac, 
created in the heart of Mr. Jefferson a fresh feeling of 
enthusiasm in behalf of freedom, and especially for the 
negro, which ceased only with his life. The American 
statesman wrote to Brissot, the celebrated French 
writer, in which he made enthusiastic mention of the 
4 'Negro Philosopher. " At the formation of the ''So- 
ciety of the Friends of the Blacks," at Paris, by 
Lafayette, Brissot, Bar nave, Condorcet, and Gregoire, 
the name of Banneker was again and again referred to 
to prove the equality of the races. Indeed, the genius 
of the "Negro Philosopher' ' did much towards giving 
liberty to the people of St. Domingo. In the British 
House of Commons, Pitt, Wilberforce, and Buxton 
often alluded to Banneker by name, as a man fit to fill 
any position in society. At the setting off of the Dis- 
trict of Columbia for the capital of the federal govern- 
ment, Banneker was invited by the Maryland commis- 
sioners, and took an honorable part in the settlement 
of the territory. But, throughout all his intercourse 
with men of influence, he never lost sight of the con- 


dition of his race, and ever urged the emancipation 
and elevation of the slave. He well knew that every- 
thing that was founded upon the admitted inferiority 
of natural right in the African was calculated to de- 
grade him and bring him nearer to the foot of the 
oppressor, and he therefore never failed to allude to 
the equality of the races when with those whites whom 
he could iufluence. He always urged self-elevation 
upon the colored people whom he met. He felt that 
to deprive the black man of the inspiration of ambition, 
of hope, of wealth, of standing, among his brethren of 
the earth, was to take from him all incentives to mental 

What husbandman incurs the toil of seed-time and 
culture, except with a view to the subsequent enjoy- 
ment of a golden harvest ? Banneker was endowed by 
Nature with all those excellent qualifications which are 
necessary previous to the accomplishment of a great 
man. His memory was large and tenacious, yet, by a 
curious felicity, chiefly susceptible of the finest im- 
pressions it received from the best authors he read, 
which he always preserved in their primitive strength 
and amiable order. He had a quickness of apprehen- 
sion and a vivacity of understanding which easily took 
in and surmounted the most subtile and knotty parts 
of mathematics and metaphysics. He possessed in a 
large degree that genius which constitutes a man of 
letters; that equality, without which, judgment is cold, 
and knowledge is inert; that energy which collects, 
combines, amplifies, and animates. 

He knew every branch of history, both natural and 
civil; he had read all the original historians of Eng- 
land, France, and Germany, and was a great antiqua- 


rian. Criticism, metaphysics, morals, politics, voy- 
ages, and travels, were all studied and well digested by 
him. With such a fund of knowledge, his conversation 
was equally interesting, instructive, and entertaining. 
Banneker was so favorably appreciated by the first 
families in Virginia, that in 1803 he was invited by 
Mr. Jefferson, then President of the United States, to 
visit him at Monticello, where the statesman had gone 
for recreation. But he was too infirm to undertake 
the journey. He died the following year, aged sev- 
enty-two. Like the golden sun that has sunk beneath 
the western horizon, but still throws upon the world, 
which he sustained and enlightened in his career, the 
reflected beams of his departed genius, his name can 
only perish with his language. 

Banneker believed in the divinity of reason, and in 
the omnipotence of the human understanding, with 
Liberty for its handmaid. The intellect, impregnated 
by science, and multiplied by time, it appeared to him, 
must triumph necessarily over all the resistance of 
matter. He had faith in liberty, truth, and virtue. 
His remains still rest in the slave state where he lived 
and died, with no stone to mark the spot, ur tell that it 
is the grave of Benjamin Banneker. He labored inces- 
santly, lived irreproachably, and died in the literary 
harness, universally esteemed and regretted. 


The man who lays aside home comforts, and willingly 
becomes a missionary to the poorest of the poor, de- 


serves the highest praise that his fellow-men can bestow 
upon him. After laboring faithfully for the upbuild- 
ing of the church in New York, Baltimore, and Phila- 
delphia, William P. Quinn, thirty-five years ago, went 
to the West, a most undesirable place for a colored 
man at that time. But he did not count the cost; it 
was enough for him to know that his services were 
needed, and he left the consequences with God. 

Never, probably, was a man more imbued with the 
spirit of the Great Teacher, than was Mr. Quinn in his 
missionary work. Old men and women are still living 
who delight to dwell on the self-denial, Christian zeal, 
manly graces, and industry that characterized this good 
man in the discharge of his duties in Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, and Missouri. His advice was always fatherly; 
his example inculcated devoted piety. 

As a speaker, he was earnest and eloquent, possess- 
ing an inward enthusiasm that sent a magnetic current 
through his entire congregation. Having the fullest 
confidence of the people with whom he was called to 
labor, they regarded him as one sent of God, and they 
hung upon his words as if their future welfare depended 
upon the counsel they received. 

In 1844, Mr. Quinn was made a bishop, a position 
for which he had every qualification. Tanner, in his 
" Apology," says: — 

"The demands of the work made it necessary to elect 
another bishop, and, as if by inspiration, a large ma- 
jority fixed their e} T es on the great missionary as the 
man most competent to fill the post." 

Bishop Quinn died in February, 1873, at the ad- 
vanced age of eighty-five years. 



Or those who took part in the anti-slavery work 
thirty-five years ago, none was more true to his race 
than David Ruggles. Residing in the city of New 
York, where slaveholders often brought their body 
servants, and kept them for weeks, Mr. Ruggles became 
a thorn in the sides of these Southern sinners. He was 
ready at all times, in dangers and perils, to wrest his 
brethren from these hyenas, and so successful was he in 
getting slaves from their masters, and sending them to 
Canada, that he became the terror of Southerners visit- 
ing northern cities. He was one of the founders of 
the celebrated underground railroad. 

Harassed by the pro-slavery whites, and betrayed 
and deserted by some of his own color, David Ruggles 
still labored for his people. 

He was deeply interested in the moral, social, and 
political elevation of the free colored men of the North, 
and to that end published and edited for several years 
the "Mirror of Liberty," a quarterly magazine, de- 
voted to the advocacy of the rights of his race. 

As a writer, Mr. Ruggles was keen and witty, — 
always logical, — sending his arrows directly at his 
opponent. The first thing we ever read, coming from 
the pen of a colored man, was "David M. Reese, M. D., 
used up by David Ruggles, a man of color.' ' Dr. 
Reese was a noted colonizationist, and had written a 
work in which he advocated the expatriation of the 
blacks from the American continent ; and Mr. Rug- 
gles' s work was in reply to it. In this argument the 
negro proved too much for the Anglo-Saxon, and ex- 


hibited in Mr. Kuggles those qualities of keen percep- 
tion, deep thought, and originality, that mark the critic 
and man of letters. 

He was of unmixed blood, of medium size, genteel 
address, and interesting in conversation. 

Attacked with a disease which resulted in total 
blindness, Mr. Ruggles visited Northampton, Massa- 
chusetts, for the benefit of his health. Here he founded 
a "Water Cure," which became famous, and to which 
a large number of the better classes resorted. In this 
new field, Mr. Ruggles won honorable distinction as a 
most successful practitioner, secured the warm regard 
of the public, and left a name embalmed in the hearts 
of many who feel that they owe life to his eminent skill 
and careful practice. Mr. Ruggles was conscientious, 
upright, and just in all his dealings. He died in 1849, 
universally respected and esteemed. 


The career of this distinguished individual whose 
name heads this sketch, is more widely known than that 
of any other living colored man. Born and brought 
up under the institution of slavery, which denied its 
victims the right of developing those natural powers 
that adorn the children of men, and distinguish them 
from the beasts of the forest, — an institution that gave 
a premium to ignorance, and mode intelligence a crime, 
when the possessor was a negro, — Frederick Douglass 


is, indeed, the most wonderful man that America has 
ever produced, white or black. 

His days of servitude were like those of his race 
who were born at the South, differing but little from 
the old routine of plantation life. Douglass, however, 
possessed superior natural gifts, which began to show 
themselves even when a boy, but his history has be- 
come too well known for us to dwell on it here. The 
narrative of his life, published in 1845, gave a new 
impetus to the black man's literature. All other sto- 
ries of fugitive slaves faded aw T ay before the beautifully- 
written, highly-descriptive, and thrilling memoir of 
Frederick Douglass. Other narratives had only 
brought before the public a few heart-rending scenes 
connected w T ith the person described. But Mr. Doug- 
lass, in his book, brought not only his old master'8 
farm and its occupants before the reader, but the entire 
country around him, including Baltimore and its ship- 
yard. The manner in which he obtained his education, 
and especially his learning to write, has been read and 
re-read by thousands in both hemispheres. His escape 
from slavery is too well understood to need a recapitu- 
lation here. 

He took up his residence in New Bedford, where he 
still continued the assiduous student, mastering the 
different branches of education which the accursed 
institution had deprived him of in early life. 

His advent as a lecturer w r as a remarkable one. 
White men and black men had talked against slavery, 
but none had ever spoken like Frederick Douglass. 
Throughout the North the newspapers were filled with 
the sayings of the "eloquent fugitive." He often 
travelled with others, but they were all lost sight of in 


the eagerness to hear Douglass. Hiy travelling com- 
panions would sometimes get angry, and would speak 
first at the meetings ; then they would take the last 
turn; but it was all the same — the fugitive's impres- 
sion was the one left upon the mind. He made more 
persons angry, and pleased more, than any other man. 
He was praised, and he was censured. He made them 
laugh, he made them weep, and he made them swear. 

His "Slaveholders 1 Sermon' ' was always a trump 
card. He awakened an interest in the hearts of thou- 
sands who before were dead to the slave and his con- 
dition. Many kept away from his lectures, fearing 
lest thev should be converted against their will. Young 
men and women, in those days of pro-slavery hatred, 
would return to their fathers' roofs filled with admira- 
tion for the "runaway slave," and would be rebuked 
by hearing the old ones grumble out, "You'd better 
stay at home and study your lessons, and not be run- 
ning after the nigger meetings." 

In 1841, he was induced to accept an agency as a 
lecturer for the Anti-slavery Society, and at once be- 
came one of the most valuable of its advocates. He 
visited England in 1845. There he was kindly re- 
ceived and heartily welcomed ; and after going through 
the length and breadth of the land, and addressing 
public meetings out of number on behalf of his country- 
men in chains, with a power of eloquence which capti- 
vated his auditors, and brought the cause which he 
pleaded home to their hearts, he returned home, and 
commenced the publication of the "North Star," a 
weekly newspaper devoted to the advocacy of the cause 
of freedom. 

Mr. Douglass is tall and well made. His vast and 


fully- developed forehead shows at once that he is a 
superior man intellectually. He is polished in his 
language, and gentlemanly in his manners. His voice 
is full and sonorous. His attitude is dignified, and his 
gesticulation is full of noble simplicity. He is a man 
of lofty reason; natural, and without pretension; 
always master of himself; brilliant in the art of expos- 
ing and abstracting. Few persons can handle a subject, 
with which they are familiar, better than he. There is 
a kind of eloquence issuing from the depth of the soul 
as from a spring, rolling along its copious floods, 
sweeping all before it, overwhelming by its very force, 
carrying, upsetting, ingulfing its adversaries, and more 
dazzling and more thundering than the bolt which leaps 
from crag to crag. This is the eloquence of Frederick 
Douglass. One of the best mimics of the age, and 
possessing great dramatic powers; had he taken up the 
sock and buskin, instead of becoming a lecturer, he 
would have made as fine a Coriolanus as ever trod the 

As a speaker, Frederick Douglass has had more imi- 
tators than almost any other American, save, perhaps, 
Wendell Phillips. Unlike most great speakers, he is 
a superior writer also. Some of his articles, in point 
of ability, will rank with anything ever written for the 
American press. He has taken lessons from the best 
of teachers, amid the homeliest realities or life; hence 
the perpetual freshness of his delineations, which are 
never over-colored, never strained, never aiming at 
difficult or impossible effects, but which always read 
like living transcripts of experience. 

Mr. Douglass has obtained a position in the front 
rank as a lyceum lecturer. His later addresses from 


manuscripts, however, do not, in our opinion, come up 
to his extemporaneous efforts. 

But Frederick Douglass's abilities as an editor and 
publisher have done more for the freedom and eleva- 
tion of his race than all his platform appeals. Previous 
to the year 1848, the colored people of the United 
States had no literature. True, the "National Re- 
former,' ' the "Mirror of Liberty," the "Colored 
American," "The Mystery," the "Disfranchised 
American," the "Ram's Horn," and several others of 
smaller magnitude, had been in existence, had their 
run, and ceased to live. All of the above journals had 
done something towards raising the black man's stand- 
ard, but they were merely the ploughs breaking up the 
ground and getting the soil ready for the seed-time. 
Newspapers, magazines, and books published in those 
days by colored men, were received with great allow- 
ance by the whites, who had always i<3garded the negro 
as an uneducated, inferior race, and who were consid- 
ered out of their proper sphere when meddling with 

The commencement of the publication of the "North 
Star" was the beginning of a new era in the black 
man's literature. Mr. Douglass's well-earned fame 
gave his paper at once a place with the first journals 
in the country ; and he drew around him a corps of con- 
tributors and correspondents from Europe, as well as 
all parts of America and the West Indies, that made 
its columns rich with the current news of the world. 

While the "North Star" became a welcome visitor 
to the homes of whites who had never before read a 
newspaper edited by a colored man, its proprietor be- 


came still more popular as a speaker in every State m 
the Union where abolitionism was tolerated. 

"My Bondage and My Freedom," a work published 
by Mr. Douglass a few years ago, besides giving a 
fresh impulse to anti-slavery literature, showed upon 
its pages the untiring industry of the ripe scholar. 

Some time during the year 1850, we believe, his 
journal assumed the name of "Frederick Douglass's 
Paper. " Its purpose and aim was the same, and it 
remained the representative of the negro till it closed 
its career, which was not until the abolition of slavery. 

Of all his labors, however, we regard Mr. Douglass's 
efforts as publisher and editor as most useful to his 
race. For sixteen years, against much opposition, 
single-handed and alone, he demonstrated the fact that 
the American colored man was equal to the white in 
conducting a useful and popular journal. 


Bishop Wayman was born in Maryland, in 1821, 
and consequently, is fifty- two years of age. He showed 
an early love of books, and used his time to the best 
advantage. He began as a preacher in the A. M. E. 
Church in 1842, being stationed on the Princeton cir- 
cuit, in New Jersey. From that time forward his 
labors were herculean. In 1864, he was, by an almost 
unanimous vote, elected a bishop. Tanner, in his 
"Apology," said of him: — 


"As a preacher, the bishop appears to advantage. 
Of dignified mien, easy gestures, and a rolling voice, 
he is sure to make a favorable impression, while the 
subject-matter of his discourse is so simple that the 
most illiterate may fully comprehend it; the wisest, 
also, are generally edified." 

It is said that Bishop Wayman is scarcely ever seen 
with any book except the Bible or a hymn-book, and 
yet he is a man of letters, as will be acknowledged by 
all who have had the pleasure of listening to his elo- 
quent sermons. He is a student, and is well read in 
history and the poets, and often surprises his friends 
by his classical quotations. There is a harmonious 
blending of the poetical and the practical, a pleasant 
union of the material with the spiritual, an arm-in-arm 
connection of the ornamental and useful, a body and 
soul joined together in his discourses. There is some- 
thing candid, tangible, solid, nutritious, and enduring 
in his sermons. He is even at times, profound. He 
presents his arguments and appeals with an articulation 
as distinct and ate understandable as his gesticulation 
is impressive. 

In person, the bishop is stout, fleshy, and well-pro- 
portioned. His round face, smiling countenance, 
twinkling eye, and merry laugh, indicate health aud 
happiness. lie is of unadulterated African origin. 
Blameless in all the relations of life, a kind and affec- 
tionate husband, a true friend, and a good neighbor, 
Bishop Wayman 's character may safely be said to be 
above suspicion. 



Professor Reason has for a number of years been 
connected with the educational institutions of New 
York. In 1849, he was called to the professorship of 
Mathematics and Belles-Lettres in New York Central 
College. This position he held during his own pleas- 
ure, with honor to himself and benefit to the students. 
A man of fine education, superior intelligence, gentle- 
manly in every sense of the term, of excellent discrimi- 
nation, one of the best of students, Professor Reason 
holds a power over those under him seldom attained 
by men of his profession. 

Were I a sculptor, and looking for a model of a per- 
fect man in personal appearance, my selection would 
be Charles L. Reason. As a writer of both prose and 
poetry, he need not be ashamed of his ability. Ex- 
tremely diffident, he seldom furnishes anything for the 
public eye. In a well-written essay on the propriety 
of establishing an industrial college, and the probable 
influence of the free colored people upon the emanci- 
pated blacks, he says: — 

"Whenever emancipation shall take place, imme- 
diate though it be, the subjects of it, like many who 
now make up the so-called free population, will be in 
what geologists call the 'transition state.' The preju- 
dice now felt against them for bearing on their persons 
the brand of slaves, cannot die out immediately. Se- 
vere trials will still be their portion: the curse of a 
'taunted race' must be expiated by almost miraculous 
proofs of advancement; and some of these miracles 
must be antecedent to the great day of jubilee. To 


fight the battle upon the bare ground of abstract 
principles will fail to give us complete victory. The 
subterfuges of pro-slavery selfishness must now be 
dragged to light, and the last weak argument, that the 
negro can never contribute anything to advance the 
national character, 'nailed to the counter as base coin.' 
To the conquering of the difficulties heaped up in the 
path of his industry, the free colored man of the North 
has pledged himself. Already he sees, springing into 
growth, from out his foster work-school, intelligent 
young laborers, competent to enrich the world with 
necessary products; industrious citizens, contributing 
their proportion to aid on the advancing civilization of 
the country; self -providing artisans, vindicating their 
people from the never-ceasing charge of fitness for ser- 
vile positions." 

In the "Autographs for Freedom," from which the 
above extract is taken, Professor Keason has a beau- 
tiful poem, entitled "Hope and Confidence," which, 
in point of originality and nicety of composition, 
deserves a place among the best productions of Words- 

A poem signifies design, method, harmony, and 
therefore consistency of parts. A man may be gifted 
with the most vividly ideal nature ; he may shoot from 
his brain some blazing poetic thought or imagery, 
which may arouse wonder and admiration, as a comet 
does; and yet he may have no constructiveness, with- 
out which the materials of poetry are only so many 
glittering fractions. A poem can never be tested by 
its length or brevity, but by the adaptation of its parts. 
A complete poem is the architecture of thought and 
language. It requires artistic skill to chisel rough 


blocks of marble into as many individual forms of 
beauty; but not only skill, but genius, is needed to 
arrange and harmonize those forms into the complete- 
ness of a Parthenon. A grave popular error, and one 
destructive of personal usefulness, and obstructive to 
literary progress, is the . free-and-easy belief that 
because a man has the faculty of investing common 
things with uncommon ideas, therefore he can write a 

The idea of poetry is to give pleasurable emotions, 
and the world listens to a poet's voice as it listens to 
the singing of a summer bird ; that which is the most 
suggestive of freedom and eloquence being the most 
admired. Professor Reason has both the genius and 
the artistic skill. He is highly respected in New York, 
where he resides, and is doing a good work for the 
elevation of his race. 


At the head of our representative men, — especially 
our men of letters, — stands Professor Wilson. He has, 
at times, contributed some very able papers to the cur- 
rent literature of the day. In the columns of ' 'Fred- 
erick Douglass's Paper," the ''Anglo- African Maga- 
zine," and the "Weekly Anglo- African," appeared at 
times, over the signature of "Ethiop," some of the 
raciest and most amusing essays to be found in the 
public journals of this country. As a sketch writer of 
historical scenes and historical characters, — choosing 


his own subjects, suggested by his own taste or sympa- 
thies, — few men are capable of greater or more suc- 
cessful efforts than William J. Wilson. 

<In his imaginary visit to the "Afric-American Pic- 
ture Gallery," he exhibits splendid traits of the genius 
of the true critic. His criticism on the comparative 
merits of Samuel R. Ward and Frederick Douglass, 
published in the papers some years ago, together wkh 
his essay on Phillis Wheatley, raised Mr. Wilson high 
in the estimation of men of letters. His ' 'School 
Eoom Scene' ' is both amusing and instructive. 

To possess genius, the offspring of which ennobles 
the sentiments, enlarges the affections, kindles the 
imagination, and gives to us a view of the past, the 
present, and the future, is one of the highest gifts that 
the Creator bestows upon man. With acute powers of 
conception, a sparkling and lively fancy, and aquaintly- 
curious felicity of diction, Mr. Wilson wakes us from 
our torpidity and coldness to a sense of our capabili- 

As a speaker, he is pleasing in style, with the man- 
ners of a gentleman. His conversational powers are 
of the first order, in which he exhibits deep thought. 
In personal appearance, he is under the middle size; 
his profile is more striking than his front face; he has 
a smiling countenance, under which you see the man 
of wit. The professor is of unmixed race, of which he 
is not ashamed. He is cashier of the Freedmen's 
Savings Bank at Washington,. and his good advice to 
his race with whom he has dealings in money matters 
proves of much service to them. 



One of the best of men was born in one of the 
meanest States in the Union. Jabez P. Campbell is a 
native of the insignificant and negro-hating State of 
Delaware, and is in the sixty-eighth year of his age. 
His father was a Revolutionary soldier, and when he 
laid aside the knapsack and the musket, he put on the 
armor of the Lord, and became a preacher of the 
A. M. E. Church. Like all colored boys in those 
days, the subject of this sketch found many difficulties 
in obtaining an education in a part of the country where 
colored men had "no rights that white men were bound 
to respect." 

After a few quarters' schooling, under incompetent 
teachers, Campbell began a course of self-instruction, 
ending in the study of theology. In 1839, he com- 
menced as a preacher, laboring in various sections of 
the country, eventually settling down as General Book 
Steward of the A. M. E. Church, and editor of the 
"Christian Recorder." 

In the year 1864, the subject of our sketch was 
elected a bishop, and since that time he has labored 
principally in the Indiana, Missouri, Louisiana, and 
California districts. 

The bishop is eminently a man of the people, not 
conceited in the least, yet dignified and gentlemanly. 
He is a man of ready wit, keen in discussion, well 
posted up on all questions of the day, and is not afraid 
to avow his views. Bishop Campbell has a wonderful 
gift of language, and uses it to the best advantage. 
His delivery is easy, and his gestures natural; and, as a 


preacher, he ranks amongst the first in the denomina- 
tion. In person, he is of medium size, dark brown 
skin, finely chiselled features, broad forehead, and a 
countenance that betokens intelligence. 


John M. Langston is a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, 
and a graduate of Oberlin College. He studied theo- 
logy and law, and preferring the latter, was admitted 
to the bar, practised successfully in the courts of his 
native state till the breaking out of the Rebellion, when 
he removed to Washington, where he now resides. 
During the war, and some time after its close, Mr. 
Langston was engaged in superintending the Freed- 
men's Schools at the South. He now occupies a pro- 
fessorship in Howard University. 

The end of all eloquence is to sway men. It is, 
therefore, bound by no arbitrary rules of diction or 
style, formed on no specific models, and governed by 
no edicts of self-elected judges. It is true, there are 
degrees of eloquence, and equal success does not imply 
equal excellence. That which is adapted to sway the 
strongest minds of an enlightened age ought to be 
esteemed the most perfect, and, doubtless, should be 
the criterion by which to test the abstract excellence 
of all oratory. Mr. Langston represents the highest 
idea of the orator, as exemplified in the power and 
discourses of Sheridan in the English House of Com- 
mons, and Vergniaud in the Assembly of the Girond- 


ists. He is not fragmentary in his speeches; but, as a 
deep, majestic stream, he moves steadily onward, pour- 
ing forth his rich and harmonious sentences in strains 
of impassioned eloquence. His style is bold and ener- 
getic; full of spirit. He is profound, without being 
hollow, and ingenious, without being subtile. 

An accomplished scholar and a good student, he dis- 
plays in his speeches an amount of literaiy acquire- 
ments not often found in the mere business lawyer. 
When pleading, he speaks like a man under oath, though 
without any starched formality of expression. The 
test of his success is the permanent impression which 
his speeches leave on the memory. They do not pass 
away with the excitement of the moment, but remain 
in the mind, with the lively colors and true propor- 
tions of the scenes which they represent. Mr. Lang- 
ston is of medium size, and of good figure; high and 
well-formed forehead; eyes full,- but not prominent; 
mild and amiable countenance; modest deportment; 
strong, musical voice; and wears the air of a gentle- 
man. Ho is highly respected by men of all classes, 
and especially, by the legal profession. He is a vigor- 
ous writer, and, in the political campaigns, contributes 
both with speech and pen to the liberal cause. Few 
men in the south-west have held the black man's stand- 
ard higher than John Mercer Lanirston. 

As Dean of the Law Department in Howard Univer- 
sity, he has won the admiration of all connected with 
the institution, and, in a recent address, delivered in 
the State of New York, on law, Mr. Langston has 
shown that he is well versed in all that pertains to 
that high profession. 



Among the fine-looking men that have been sent 
out by the A. M. E. Church, to preach the gospel, 
none has a more manly frame, intellectual counte- 
nance, gentlemanly demeanor, Christian spirit, and 
love of his race, than John M. Brown. When the 
Committee on Boundary in the A. M. E. Church recom- 
mended in the General Conference of 1864, ' 'that there 
be set apart a Conference in the State of Louisiana, to 
be known as the Louisiana Conference, embracing the 
States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, 
Texas, and all that part of Florida lying west of Chat- 
tanooga River," Mr. Brown was selected as the man 
eminently fitted to go to the new field of labor. 
Money was evidently not a burden to him, for, being 
a barber, he got on a steamer, and shaved his way to 
his post of labor.* 

Ho arrived in New Orleans, unfurled his ban- 
ner, and went to work in a way that showed that he 
was "terribly in earnest.' ' He sowed the seed, and, 
although he was thrown into the calaboose, his work 
still went on, a church was erected, members were 
gathered in, and the cause of Christian missions pros- 
pered. After laboring faithfully in this field, Mr. 
Brown was appointed Corresponding Secretary of the 
A. M. E. Church, with his head-quarters in Baltimore. 
He now holds the high and honorable position of 
bishop, a place that no one is better qualified to fill 
than he. 

He is a mulatto, of middle age, with talents of a 

* "An Apology for Methodism." B. T. Tanner, p. 388. 
29 " 


high order, fluent speaker, terse writer, and popular 
with all classes. Oberlin College has not turned out 
a more praiseworthy scholar, nor a better specimen of a 
Christian gentleman, than Bishop Brown. 


Mr. Gaines was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, November 
6th, 1821. His early education was limited, as was 
generally the case with colored youth in that section, 
in those days. Forced into active life at an early age, 
he yet found time to make himself a fair English 
scholar, and laid the foundation of that power to be 
useful, which he afterwards exercised for the benefit of 
his people. 

At the age of sixteen, he was found in attendance 
upon a convention, held in one of the interior towns 
of his native state. At that early age, he showed clearly 
his mental powers, and men, many years his senior 
listened with respect to the sage counsel which even 
then he was capable of giving. From that time to the 
very day of his death he mingled in the councils, and 
busied himself with the affairs of his people; and it is 
no derogation to the merits of others to say, that few 
have counselled more wisely, or acted more successfully 
than he. 

The enterprise with which his name is the most per- 
manently connected, is the movement which has given 
to Cincinnati her system of public schools for colored 
youth. When the law of 1849, granting school privi- 


leges to colored youth, was passed, the City Council of 
Cincinnati refused to appropriate the funds placed in 
the treasury for the support of the schools, alleging 
that there was. no authority to do so. Here was a 
chance for our deceased friend to exhibit those high 
qualities which made him a lamp to the feet of his peo- 
ple. Cautious, but firm, determined, but patient, he 
led in the movement, which resulted in a decision of 
the Supreme Court of the State, placing the colored 
public schools upon the same footing as the other public 
schools of the city, and gave their control to a board 
of directors selected by the colored people. The con- 
test was prolonged nearly two years, but at last the 
little black man triumphed over the city of Cincinnati. 

His next aim was to have the schools thoroughly 
organized, and placed in comfortable houses. He 
cheerfully performed the onerous duties of clerk and 
general agent to the Board, his only reward being a 
consciousness that he was useful to his people. His 
purposes were temporarily interrupted in 1853, by a 
law taking the control of the schools from the colored 
people. Not connected officially with the schools, he 
still maintained a deep interest in their condition, and, 
in 1856, an opportunity offering, he used his influence 
and means to have the schools again placed under the 
control of the colored people. This point gained, he 
again set on foot measures looking to the erection of 
school-houses. This he at last accomplished. His 
first report to the City Council, made in 1851, urges 
the erection of school-houses, and his last report, made 
in 1859, announces the completion of two large houses, 
costing over twenty-four thousand dollars. 

If he is a benefactor of his race, who causes two 


blades of grass to grow where but one grew before, 
surely, he is worthy of praise, who has let rays of intel- 
lectual light fall upon the famished minds of a forlorn 
race, whom a hard fate has condemned to slavery and 

He was, from early youth, a firm, though not fanatical 
adherent of the Temperance cause. lie felt that intoxi- 
cating drinks had caused many strong men to fall, 
and, for his brother's sake, he abstained. Meeting one 
evening, at a social party, a gentleman from a neighbor- 
ing State, eminent in the world of politics and philan- 
thropy, a bottle of sparkling Catawba and two glasses 
were placed on the table before them, the host remark- 
ing at the time that * 'there was no need for two turn- 
biers, for Mr. Gaines would not use his." 

* 'Surely, Mr. Gaines will pledge me, a friend of his 
race, in a glass of wine made from the grape that grows 
on his native hills," said the gentleman. 

Mr. Gaines shook his head. "I appreciate the 
honor," said he, "but conscience forbids." 

The character of his mind was much to be prized by 
a people who need prudent counsels. Seldom speak- 
ing until he had examined his subject thoroughly, he 
was generally prepared to speak with a due regard to 
the effects of his speech. 

The subject of this sketch was of pure African de- 
scent, small in stature, of genteel figure, countenance 
beaming with intelligence, eloquent in speech, and able 
in debate. He died November 27, 1859. 



Unable to get justice done him in the educational 
institutions of his native country, James M'Cune Smith 
turned his face towards a foreign land. He graduated 
with distinguished honors at the University of Glas- 
gow, Scotland, where he received his diploma of M. D. 
For the last twenty-five years he has been a practi- 
tioner in the city of New York, where he stands at the 
head of his profession. On his return from Europe, 
the doctor was warmly welcomed by his fellow-citizens, 
who were anxious to pay due deference to his talents; 
since which time he has justly been esteemed among 
the leading men of his race on the American continent. 
When the natural ability of the negro was assailed, 
some years ago, in New York, Dr. Smith came forward 
as the representative of the black man, and his essays 
on the comparative anatomy and physiology of the 
races, read in the discussion, completely vindicated the 
character of the negro, and placed the author among 
the most logical and scientific writers in the country. 

The doctor has contributed many valuable papers to 
the different journals published by colored men during 
the last quarter of a century. The New York dailies 
have also received aid from him during the same 
period. History, antiquity, bibliography, translation, 
criticism, political economy, statistics, — almost every 
department of knowledge, — receive emblazon from hi? 
able, ready, versatile, and unwearied pen. The eman- 
cipation of the slave, and the elevation of the free col- 
ored people, has claimed the greatest share of his time 
as a writer. 


The law of labor is equally binding on genius and 
mediocrity. The mind and body rarely visit this earth 
of ours so exactly fitted to each other, and so perfectly 
harmonizing together, as to rise without effort, and 
command in the affairs of men. It is not in the power 
of every one to become great. No great approxima- 
tion, even towards that which is easiest attained, can 
be accomplished without exercise of much thought and 
vigor of action; and thus is demonstrated the suprem- 
acy of that law which gives excellence only when 
earned, and assigns labor its unfailing reward. 

It is this energy of character, industry, and labor, 
combined with superior intellectual powers, which gave 
Dr. Smith so much influence in New York. 

As a speaker, he was eloquent, and at times brilliant, 
but always clear, and to the point. In stature, the doc- 
tor was not tall, but thick, and somewhat inclined to 
corpulency. lie had a fine and well-developed head; 
broad and lofty brow; round, full face; firm mouth; 
and an eye that dazzled. In blood he stood, apparently, 
equal between the Anglo-Saxon and the African. 


Teacher of a small school at Charleston, South 
Carolina, in the year 1834, Daniel A. Payne felt the 
oppressive hand of slavery too severely upon him, and 
he quitted the Southern Sodom, and came North. After 
going through a regular course of theological studies, 
at Getty sburg Seminary, he took up his residence at 


Baltimore, where he soon distinguished himself as a 
preacher in the African Methodist denomination. He 
was several years since elected bishop, and is now 
located in the State of Ohio. 

Bishop Payne is a scholar and a poet; having pub- 
lished, in 1850, a volume of his productions, which 
created considerable interest for the work, and cave 
the author a standing among literary men. His writ- 
ings are characterized by sound reasoning and logical 
conclusions, and show that he is well read. The bishop 
is devotedly attached to his down-trodden race, and is 
constantly urging upon them self-elevation. After 
President Lincoln's interview with the committee of 
colored men at Washington, and the colonization 
scheme recommended to them, and the appearance of 
Mr. Pomeroy's address to the free blacks, Bishop Payne 
issued, through the columns of the "Weekly Anglo- 
African, " a word of advice, which had in it the right 
ring, and showed in its composition considerable liter- 
ary ability. A deep vein of genuine piety pervades all 
the productions of Bishop Payne. As a pulpit orator, 
he -stands deservedly high. In stature, he is rather 
under the middle size, intellectual countenance, and 
gentlemanly in appearance. He has done much towards 
building up Wilberforce College in Ohio, an institu- 
tion that is an honor to the race. 


Among the many bright examples of the black man 
which we present, one of the foremost sis Alexander 


Crummell. Blood unadulterated, a tall and manly 
figure, commanding in appearance, a full and musical 
voice, fluent in speech, a graduate of Cambridge Uni- 
versity, England, a mind stored with the richness of 
English literature, competently acquainted with the 
classical authors of Greece and Rome, from the grave 
Thucydides to the rhapsodical Lycophron, gentlemanly 
in all his movements, language chaste and refined, Dr. 
Crummell may well be put forward as one of the best 
and most favorable representatives of his race. He is 
a clergyman of the Episcopal denomination, and deeply 
versed in theology. His sermons are always written, 
but he reads them as few persons can. 

In 1848, Dr. Crummell visited England, and deliv 
ered a well-conceived address before the Anti-slavery 
Society in London, where his eloquence and splendid 
abilities were at once acknowledged and appreciated. 
The year before his departure for the Old World, he 
delivered an "Eulogy on the Life and Character of 
Thomas Clarkson," which was a splendid, yet just 
tribute to the life-long labors of that great man. 

Dr. Crummell is one of our ablest speakers, flis 
style is polished, graceful, and even elegant, though 
never merely ornate or rhetorical. He has the happy 
faculty of using the expressions best suited to the occa- 
sion, and bringing in allusions which give a popular 
sympathy to the best cultivated style. He is, we think, 
rather too sensitive, and somewhat punctillious. 

Dr. Crummell is a gentleman by nature, and could 
not be anything else, if he should try. Some ten years 
since, ho wrote a very interesting work on Africa, to 
which country he emigrated in 1852. 

We have had a number of our public men to repre 


sent us in Europe within the past twenty-five years ; 
and none have done it more honorably or with better 
success to the character and cause of the black man, 
than Alexander Crummell. We met him there again 
and asrain, and followed in his track wherever he 
preached or spoke before public assemblies, and we 
know whereof wo affirm. Devotedly attached to the 
interest of the colored man, and having the moral, 
social, and intellectual elevation of the natives of Af- 
rica at heart, we do not regret that he considers it his 
duty to labor in his fatherland. Warmly interested in 
the Republic, and so capable of filling the highest 
position that he can be called to, we shall not be sur- 
prised, some day, to hear that Alexander Crummell is 
president of Liberia. 

Avery College has just done itself the honor of con- 
ferring the degree of Doctor of Divinity upon this 
able man; and sure we are that a title was never 
better bestowed than in the present instance. 

Since writing the above sketch, we learn that Dr. 
Crummell has returned, and taken up his residence in 
the City of New York, where he is now pastor of a 


Though born a slave in the State of Maryland, 
Henry Highland Garnett is the son of an African chief, 
stolen from the coast of his native land. His father's 
family were all held as slaves till 1822, when they 
escaped to the north. In 1835, he became a member 


of Canaan Academy, New Hampshire. Three months 
after entering the school, it was broken up by a mob, 
who destroyed the building. Dr. Garnett afterwards 
entered Oneida Institute, New York, under the charge 
of that noble-hearted friend of man, Beriah Green, 
where he was treated with equality by the professors 
and his fellow-students. There he gained the reputa- 
tion of a courteous and accomplished man, an able and 
eloquent debater, and a good writer. 

His first appearance as a public speaker, was in 1837, 
in the City of jNew York, where his speech at once 
secured for him a standing among first-class orators. 
Dr. Garnett is in every sense of the term a progressive 
man. He is a strenuous advocate of freedom, tempe- 
rance, education, and the religious, moral, and social 
elevation of his race. He is au acceptable preacher, 
evangelical in his profession. His discourses, though 
showing much thought and careful studv, are delivered 
extemporaneously, and with good effect. Having com- 
plete command of his voice, he uses it with skill, never 
failing to fill the largest hall. One of the most noted 
addresses ever given by a colored man in this country 
was delivered by Dr. Garnett at the National Conven- 
tion of Colored Americans, at Buffalo, New York, in 
1843. None but those who heard that speech have the 
slightest idea of the tremendous influence which he 
exercised over the assembly. 

Dr. Garnett visited England in 1850, where he 
spent several months, and went thence to the island of 
Jamaica, spending three years there as a missionary. 
He has written considerably, and has edited one or 
two journals at different times, devoted to the eleva- 
tion of his race. Dr. Garnett was, for two or three 


years, president of Avery College, where he was 
considered a man of learning. He also spent some time 
in Washington, as pastor of the Presbyterian Church 
in that city. At present, he is located over Shiloh 
Church, New York City. 

For forty years an advocate of the rights of his race, 
forcible and daring as a speaker, having suffered much, 
with a good record behind him, Dr. Garnett may be 
considered as standing in the front rank as a leader of 
his people. 


Born and brought up in Salem, Massachusetts, Mr. 
Remond had the advantage of early training in the best 
of schools. In 1838, he took the field as a lecturer, 
under the auspices of the American Anti -slavery So- 
ciety, and, in company with the Rev. Ichabod Codding, 
canvassed the States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 
and Maine. In 1840, he visited England as a delegate 
to the first "World's Anti-slavery Convention, " held 
in London. He remained abroad two years, lecturing 
in the various towns in the united kingdom. 

Mr. Remond was welcomed on his return home, and 
again resumed his vocation as a lecturer. In stature, 
he is small, of spare make, neat, wiry build, and genteel 
in his personal appearance. He has a good voice, and 
is considered one of the best declaimers in New Eng- 
land. He has written little or nothing for the press, 
and his notoriety is confined solely to the platform. 
Sensitive to a fault, and feeling sorely the prejudice 


against color which exists throughout the United States, 
his addresses have been mainly on that subject, on 
which he is always interesting. Mr. Remond's abili- 
ties have been very much overrated. His speeches, 
when in print, attracted little or no attention, and he 
was never able to speak upon any subject except slav- 
ery, upon which he was never deco 


Dr. Delany has long been before tho public. His 
first appearance, we believe, was in connection with 
< 'The Mystery," a weekly newspaper published at 
Pittsburg, and of which he was editor. His journal 
was faithful in its advocacy of the rights of man, and 
had the reputation of being a well-conducted sheet. 
The doctor afterwards was associated with Frederick 
Douglass in the editorial management of his paper at 
Rochester, New York. From the latter place, he re- 
moved to Canada, and resided in Chatham, where he 
was looked upon as one of its leading citizens. 

Dr. Martin R. Delany, though regarded as a man 
high in his profession, is better and more widely known 
as a traveller, discoverer, and lecturer. His associa- 
tion with Professor Campbell in tho "Niger Valley 
Exploring Expedition," has brought the doctor very 
prominently before the world, and especially that por- 
tion of it which takes an interest in the civilization of 
Africa. The official report of that expedition shows 
that he did not visit that country with his eyes shut. 


His observations and suggestions about the climate, 
soil, diseases, and natural productions of Africa, are 
interesting, and give evidence that the doctor was in 
earnest. The published report, of which he is the 
author, will repay a perusal. 

On his return home, Dr. Delany spent some time in 
England, and lectured in the British metropolis and 
the provincial cities, with considerable success, on 
Africa and its resources. As a member of the Inter- 
national Statistical Congress, ho acquitted himself with 
credit to his position and honor to his race. The fool- 
ish manner in which the Hon. Mr. Dallas, our minister 
to the court of St. James, acted on meeting Dr. Delany 
in that august assembly, and the criticisms of the press 
of Europe and America, will not soon be forgotten. 

He is short, compactly built, has a quirk, wiry walk, 
and is decided and energetic in conversation, unadul- 
terated in race, and proud of his complexion. Though 
somewhat violent in his gestures, and paying but little 
regard to the strict rules of oratory, Dr. Delany is, 
nevertheless, an interesting, eloquent speaker. De- 
votedly attached to his fatherland, he goes for a "Ne- 
gro Nationality." Whatever he undertakes, he exe- 
cutes it with all the pow r ers that God has given him; 
and what would appear as an obstacle in the way of 
other men, would be brushed aside by Martin R. 


Dr. Pennington was born a slave on the farm of 
Colonel Gordon, in the State of Maryland. His early 


life was not unlike the common lot of the bondmen of 
the Middle States. He was by trade a blacksmith, 
which increased his value to his owner. He had no 
opportunities for learning, and was ignorant of letters 
when he made his escape to the north. Through intense 
application to books, he gained, as far as it was possi- 
ble, what slavery had deprived him of in his younger 
days. But he always felt the early blight upon his 

Dr. Pennington had not been free Ions? ere he turned 
his attention to theology, and became an efficient 
preacher in the Presbyterian denomination. He was 
several years settled over a church at Hartford, Connec- 
ticut. He has been in Europe three times, his second 
visit being the most important, as he remained there 
three or four years, preaching and lecturing, during 
which time he attended the Peace Congresses held at 
Paris, Brussels, and London. While in Germany, the 
degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him 
by the University of Heidelberg. On his return to the 
United States, he received a call, and was settled as 
pastor over Shiloh Church, New York City. 

The doctor was a good student, a ripe scholar, and 
deeply versed in theology. While at Paris, in 1849, 
we, with the American and English delegates to the 
Peace Congress, attended divine service at the Protes- 
tant Church, where Dr. Pennington had been invited 
to preach. His sermon, on that occasion, was an ele- 
gant production, made a marked impression on his 
hearers, and created upon the minds of all a more ele- 
vated idea of the negro. In past years, he has labored 
zealously and successfully for the education, and moral, 
social, and religious elevation of his race. The doctor 


was unadulterated in blood, with strongly-marked 
African features. In stature, he was of the common size, 
slightly inclined to corpulency, with an athletic frame 
and a good constitution. The fact that Dr. Penning- 
ton was considered a good Greek, Latin, and German 
scholar, although his early life was spent in slavery, 
is not more strange than that Henry Diaz, the black 
commander in Brazil, is extolled in all the histories of 
that country as one of the most sagacious and talented 
men and experienced officers of whom they could boast. 
Dr. Pennington died in 1871, his death being hastened 
by the excessive use of intoxicating liquors, which had 
impaired his usefulness in his latter days. 


The boiling cauldron of the rebellion threw upon its 
surface in the Southern States a large number of col- 
ored men, who are now playing a conspicuous part in 
the political affairs of their section of the country. 
Some of these, like their white brethren, are mere 
adventurers, without ability, native or acquired, and 
owe their elevated position more to circumstances than 
to any gifts or virtues of their own. There are, how- 
ever, another class, some of whom, although unedu- 
cated, are men of genius, of principle, and Christian 
zeal, laboring with all their powers for the welfare of 
the country and the race. A few of the latter class 
have had the advantages of the educational institutions 
of the North and of Europe, as well as at the South, 
and were fully prepared for the situation when called 


upon to act. One of the most gifted of these, a man 
of fine education, honest, upright, just in his dealings 
with his fellows; one whose good sense and manly 
qualities never desert him, — is Francis L. Cardozo. 

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, his father a 
white man and a slaveholder, his mother a mulatto, 
Mr. Cardozo is of a fair complexion. lie is above the 
middle size, robust and full-faced, with a well-devel- 
oped head, large brain, and a face of fine expression. 
Educated in Scotland, and having travelled extensively 
abroad, he presents the exterior of a man of refinement 
and of high culture, possessing considerable literary 
taste, and his conversation at once shows him to be a 
man of learning. Industrious and methodical in his hab- 
its, still the ardent student, young in years, compara- 
tively, Mr. Cardozo bids fair to be one of the leading 
men at the national capital, as he is now in his own 
State. He studied theology, was ordained as a min- 
ister, and preached for a time in Connecticut with 
great acceptance. 

As a speaker, Mr. Cardozo has few equals, colored 
or white. Without any strained effort, his expressions 
are filled with integrity, sobriety, benevolence, satire, 
and true eloquence. Forcible in speech, his audience 
never <xet tired under the sound of his musical voice. 

During the rebellion, he returned to his native State, 
where he was of great service to his own people. He 
took a leading part in the reconstruction convention 
that brought South Carolina back in the Union, and 
was elected to the state legislature, where he was con- 
sidered one of their ablest men. He now fills the high 
and honorable position of Secretary of State of his 
own commonwealth. He is held in high estimation by 


all classes: even the old negro-hating whites of the 
"palmetto" state acknowledge the ability and many- 
manly virtues of Francis L. Cardozo. 


Miss Lewis, the colored American artist, is of min- 
gled Indian and African descent. Her mother was one 
of the Chippewa tribe, and her father a full-blooded 
African. Both her parents died young, leaving the 
orphan girl and her only brother to be brought up by 
the Indians. Here, as may well be imagined, her 
opportunities for education were meagre enough. 

Edmonia Lewis is below the medium height; her 
complexion and features betray her African origin; 
her hair is more of the Indian type, black, straight, 
and abundant. Her head is well balanced, exhibiting 
a large and well-developed brain. Although brought 
up in the wilderness, she spent some time at Oberlin 
College, and has a good education. 

Her manners are childlike and simple, and most 
winning and pleasing. She has the proud spirit of her 
Indian ancestor, and if she has more of the African in 
her personal appearance, she has more of the Indian in 
her character. On her first visit to Boston, she saw a 
statue of Benjamin Franklin. It filled her with amaze- 
ment and delight. She did not know by what name 
to call "the stone image," but she felt within her the 
stir of new powers. 

"I, too, can make a stone man," she said to herself; 
and at once she went to visit William Lloyd Garrison, 


and told him what she knew she could do, and asked 
him how she should set about doing it. 

Struck by her enthusiasm, Garrison gave her a note 
of introduction to Brackett, the Boston sculptor, and 
after a little talk with her, Mr. Brackett gave her a 
piece of clay and a mould of a human foot, as a study. 

"Go home and make that," said he; "if there is 
anything in you, it will come out." 

Alone in her own room, the young girl toiled over 
her clay, and when she had done her best, carried the 
result to her master. He looked at her model, broke 
it up, and said, "Try again." She did try again, 
modelled feet and hands, and at last undertook a me- 
dallion of the head of John Brown, which was pro- 
nounced excellent. 

The next essay was the bust of a young hero, Colonel 
Shaw, the first man who tuok the command of a col- 
ored regiment, and whose untimely and glorious death, 
and the epitaph spoken by the South, <'Bury him with 
his niggers," have made him an immortal name in the 
history of our civil war. 

The fainity of this young hero heard of the bust 
which the colored girl was making as a labor of love, 
and came to see it, and were delighted with the portrait 
which she had taken from a few poor photographs. 
Of this bust she sold one hundred copies, and with 
that money she set out for Europe, full of hope and 

• Arriving at Eome, Miss Lewis took a studio, and 
devoted herself to hard study and hard work, and here 
she made her first statue — a figure of Hagar in her 
despair in the wilderness. It is a work full of feeling, 
for, as she says, "I have a strong sympathy for all 


women who have struggled and suffered. For this 
reason the Virgin Mary is very dear to me." 

The first copy of Hagar was purchased by a gentle- 
man from Chicago. A fine group of the Madonna 
with the infant Christ in her arms, and two adoring 
angels at her feet, attests the sincerity of her admira- 
tion for the Jewish maiden. This last group has been 
purchased by the young Marquis of Bute, Disraeli's 
Lothair, for an altar-piece. 

Among Miss Lewis's other works are two small 
groups, illustrating Longfellow's poem of Hiawatha. 
Her first, "Hiawatha's Wooing," represents Minne- 
haha seated, making a pair of moccasins, and Hiawatha 
by her side, with a world of love-longing in his eyes. In 
the marriage, they stand side by side with clasped 
hands. In both, the Indian type of features is carefully 
preserved, and every detail of dress, etc., is true to 
nature. The sentiment is equal to the execution. 
They are charming hits, poetic, simple, and natural; 
and no happier illustrations of Longfellow's most 
original poem were ever made than these by the In- 
dian sculptor, 

A fine bust, also, of this same poet, is about to be 
put in marble, which has been ordered by Harvard 
College; and in this instance, at least, Harvard has 
done itself honor. If it will not yet open its doors to 
women who ask education at its hands, it will admit 
the work of a woman who has educated herself in her 
chosen department. 

Miss Lewis has a fine medallion portrait of Wendell 
Phillips, a charming group of sleeping babies, and some 
other minor works, in her studio. At Rome, she is 
visited by strangers from all nations, who happen in the 


great city, and every one admires the genius of the 

The highest art is that which rises above the slavish 
copying of nature, without sinking back again into a 
more slavish conventionalism. All the forms of such 
art are intensely simple and natural, but through the 
natural, the spiritual speaks. The saintly glory shines 
through the features of its saints, and docs not gather 
in a ring around their heads. It speaks a language all 
can understand, and has no jargon of its own. It 
needs no initiation before we can understand its mys- 
teries, excepting that of the pure heart and the awak- 
ened mind. It represents nature, but in representing, 
it interprets her. It. shows us nothing but reality, but 
in the real, it mirrors the invisible ideal. 

A statue is a realized emotion, or a thought in stone 
— not an embodied dream. A picture is a painted 
poem — not a romance in oil. Working together with 
nature, such art rises to something higher than nature 

' CD CD 

is, becomes the priestess of her temple, and represents 
to more prosaic souls that which only the poet sees. 
The truly poetical mind of Edmonia Lewis shows itself 
in all her works, and exhibits to the critic the genius 
of the artist 


.Robert Purvis was born in Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, but had the advantages of a New England colle- 
giate education. He early embraced the principles of 
freedom as advocated by William Lloyd Garrison, and 


during the whole course of the agitation of the ques- 
tion of slavery, remained true to his early convictions. 

Possessed of a large fortune at the very commence- 
ment of life, Mr. Purvis took an active part in aiding 
slaves to obtain their freedom, by furnishing nieans to 
secure for them something like justice before the pro- 
slavery courts of Pennsylvania, when arrested as fugi- 
tives, or when brought into the state voluntarily by 
their owners. 

Mr. Purvis did not stop with merely giving of his 
abundant means, but made many personal sacrifices, 
and ran risks of loss of life in doing what he con- 
ceived to be an act of duty. Though white enough to 
pass as one of the dominant race, he never denied his 
connection with the negro. 

In personal appearance, and in manners, Mr. Purvis 
is every inch the gentleman. Possessing a highly- 
cultivated mind, a reflective imagination, easy and 
eloquent in speech, but temper quickly aroused, he is 
always interesting as a public speaker. 

Although he spent a large amount in philanthropic 
causes, Mr. Purvis is still a man of wealth, and owns 
a princely residence at Bybury, some fifteen miles from 
Philadelphia. With character unblemished, blameless 
in his domestic life, an ardent friend, and a dangerous 
foe, Eobert Purvis stands to-day an honor to both 


James M. Whitfield was a native of Massachusetts, 
and removed in early life to Buffalo, New York, where 


he followed the humble occupation of a barber. How- 
ever, even in this position, he became noted for his 
scholarly attainments and gentlemanly deportment. 
Men of polish and refinement were attracted to his 
saloon, and while being shaved, would take pleasure 
in conversing with him; and all who knew him felt 
that he was intended by Nature for a more elevated 
station in life. 

Pie wrote some fine verses, and published a volume 
of poems in 1846, which well stood the test of criti- 
cism. His poem, "How long, O God, how long I" 
is a splendid production, and will take a place in 
American literature. 

Mr. Whitfield removed to California some years 
since, where he took a forward stand with the progres- 
sive men of his race. 


Although we have but a meagre historical record, as 
producers of books, magazines, and newspapers, it 
must still bo admitted that some noble efforts have 
been made, and not a little time and money spent by 
colored men in literary enterprises during the 1 st 
forty years. The oldest, and one of the ablest of 
American journalists, is Phillip A. Bell. 

This gentleman started the "Colored American'* in 
the year 1837, as co-editor with the late Rev. Samuel 
E. Cornish, and subsequently, with the late Dr. James 
M'Cuno Smith. The paper was a weekly, and pub- 
lished in the citv of New York. The '^Colored 


American' ' was well conducted, had the confidence of 
the public, distinguished for the ability shown in its 
editorials, as well as its correspondents. 

Mr. Bell retired from the management of the paper, 
in 1840. All, however, who remember as far back as 
thirty-five years, will bear testimony to the efficient 
work done by the ' 'Colored American," and the honor 
that is due to its noble founder. Some ten years ago, 
Mr. Bell removed to California, where he, in company 
with Mr. Peter Anderson, flung to the breeze the 
"Pacific Appeal," a weekly newspaper, devoted to 
the interest of the colored man, and which has accom- 
plished great good for humanity. In 1865, Mr. Bell 
launched the "Elevator," a spicy weekly, the columns 
of which attest its ability. Science, philosophy, and 
the classics are treated in a masterly manner. 

Mr. Bell is an original and subtile writer, has fine 
powers of analysis, and often flings the sparkling rays 
of a vivid imagination over the productions of his pen. 

His articles are usually of a practical nature, always 
trying to remove evils, working for the moral, social, 
and political elevation of his race. 

In person, Mr. Bell is of medium size, of dark com- 
plexion, pleasing countenance, gentlemanly in his 
manners, a man of much energy, strong determination, 
unbending endurance, and transparent honesty of 

Of good education and a highly-cultivated mind, 
Mr. Bell attracts to him the most refined of his color, 
who regard him as the Napoleon of the colored press. 
Our subject was not intended by Nature for the plat- 
form, and has the good sense not to aspire to oratorical 
fame. In conversation, however, he is always inter- 


esting, drawing from a rich and varied experience, full 
of dry humor. 

Mr. Bell has a host of friends in New York, where 
he is always spoken of in the highest manner, and is 
regarded as the prince of good fellows. 


Dr. Ray is a clergyman of the Presbyterian order, 
and has resided in the city of New York for the last 
half century. In the year 1840, he became the editor 
of the "Colored American," a journal which ho con- 
ducted with signal ability, always true to the cause of 
the Southern slave, and the elevation of the black man 
everywhere. Dr. Ray is well educated, a man of lib- 
eral and reformatory views, a terse and vigorous writer, 
an able and eloquent speaker, well informed upon all 
subjects of the day. 

Ho has long been identified with every good work 
in New York, and enjoys the confidence and respect of 
a large circle of friends. 

In person, Dr. Ray is of small stature, neat and wiry 
build, in race standing about half-way between the 
African and the Anglo-Saxon. He is polished in his 
manners, and gentlemanly in his personal appearance. 
As a writer, a preacher, and a platform-speaker, he has 
done much to elevate the standard of the colored man 
in the Empire State. 

In the multitude of national and state conventions 
held thirty years ago and thereabouts, the assembly 


was scarcely considered complete without the presence 
of Charles B. Kay, D. D. 

In the religious conventions of his own denomina- 
tion, he was always regarded with respect, and his ser- 
mons delivered to white congregations never failed to 
leave a good impression for the race to which the 
preacher belonged. Blameless in his family relations, 
guided by the highest moral rectitude, a true friend to 
everything that tends to better the moral, social, 
religious, and political condition of man, Dr. Kay may 
be looked upon as one of the foremost of the leading 
men of his race. 


Thirty-five years ago, it was not an easy thing to 
convince an American community that a colored man 
was fit for any position save that of a servant. A few 
men, however, one after another, came upon the 
surface, and demonstrated beyond a doubt that genius 
was not confined to race or color. Standing foremost 
amongst these, was John J. Zuille of New York, who, 
by his industry, sobriety, and fair dealing, did much 
to create for the black man a character for business 
tact in the great metropolis. Mr. Zuillo is, by trade, 
a practical printer, and in company with Bell, Cornish, 
and others, started the "Colored American" in 1837. 
As printer of that journal, ho showed mechanical skill 
that placed him at once amongst the ablest of the craft. 

Mr. Zuille has also taken a prominent part in all 
matters pertaining to the welfare of his race in the 
Empire State. For the past ten years he has been 


cashier of the Freedmen's Bank in the city of New 
York, a position for which his ability as a business man 
eminently qualifies him. 

Mr. Zuille seems to be but little adulterated in race, 
short, thick -set, pleasant countenance, energetic and 
gentlemanly in his movements. 

His reputation stands without blot or blemish, and 
he is surrounded by a large circle of friends, whose 
entire confidence he enjoys. 


The tall, fine figure, manly walk, striking profile, 
and piercing eye of George T. Downing would attract 
attention in any community, even where he is un- 
known. Possessing remarkable talents, finely edu- 
cated, a keen observer, and devoted to the freedom and 
elevatiou of his race, he has long been looked upon as 
a representative man. A good debater, quick to take 
advantage of the weak points of an opponent, forcible 
in speech, and a natural orator, Mr. Downing is always 
acceptable as a speaker. 

He is a native of New York, but resides at the 
national capitol, where he exerts considerable influ- 
ence in political affairs, especially those pertaining to 
the welfare of the negro race. . 

A diplomatist by nature, Mr. Downing can "button- 
hole" a congressman with as good effect as almost any 
man. Daring and aspiring, anxiously catching at the 
advantage of political elevation, he is always a leading 
man in conventions. Upright in his dealings, uncom- 


promising, and strongly attached to the principles of 
justice. Mr. Downing enjoys the confidence and re- 
spect of both white and colored. As he is well quali- 
fied to fill any position, we would be glad to see him 
appointed to represent our government at some for- 
eign court. 


Miss Forten is a native of Philadelphia; came to 
Massachusetts in 1854, entered the Higginson Gram- 
mar School at Salem, where she soon earned the repu- 
tation of an attentive and progressive student. She 
graduared from that institution with high honor, hav- 
ing received a premium for "A Parting Hymn," sung 
at the last examination. In this composition Miss 
Forten gave unmistakable evidence of genius of a high 
order. She became a correspondent of the * 'National 
Anti-slavery Standard," and wrote some very spicy 
letters, extracts from which were given in other 

In a poem entitled "The Angel's Visit," she makes 
a touching allusion to her departed mother, which for 
style and true poetical diction, is not surpassed by 
anything in the English language. In blood, Miss 
Forten stands between the Anglo-Saxon and the Afri- 
can, with finely-chiselled features, well-developed fore- 
head, countenance beaming with intelligence, and a 
mind richly stored with recollections of the best 
authors. Highly cultivated, and sensitive to the preju- 
dice existing against her color, Miss Forten's lot is 
not an easy one in this world of ours. She still con- 


tinues to write for the press, giving most of her arti- 
cles in the "Atlantic Monthly." 

During the war, and since its close, she has spent 
much time in teaching in the Southern States, where 
her labors are highly appreciated. 


Tiie subject of this sketch was born in Pittsburg, 
through the schools of which he passed, then studied 
at Obcrlin College, graduating with the degree of 
Master of Arts. After reading law with Hon. Walter 
Forward, he was admitted to the bar in 1847. Mr. 
Vashon soon after visited Ilayti, whero he remained 
three years, returning home in 1850. Called to a 
professorship in New York Central College, Mr. 
Vashon discharged the duties of the office with signal 
ability. A gentleman — a graduate of that institution, 
now a captain in the federal army — told the writer 
that he and several of his companions, who had to 
recite to Professor Vashon, made it a practice for some 
length of time to search Greek, Latin, and Hebrew for 
phrases and historical incidents, and w T ould then ques- 
tion the professor, w T ith the hope of "running him on 

a snasr." 

"But," said he, "we never caught him once, and 
we came to the conclusion that he was the best read 
man in the college." 

Literature has a history, and few histories can com- 
pare with it in importance, significance, and moral 
grandeur. There is, therefore, a great price to pay 


for literary attainments, which will have an inspiring 
and liberalizing influence — a price not in silver and 
gold, but in thorough mental training. This training 
will give breadth of view, develop strength of charac- 
ter, and a comprehensive spirit, by which the ever- 
living expressions of truth and principle in the past, 
may be connected with those of a like character in the 

Mr. Vashon seems to have taken this view of what 
constitutes the thorough scholar, and has put his 
theory into practice. All of the productions of his 
pen show the student and man of literature. But he is 
not indebted alone to culture, for he possesses genius 
of no mean order — poetic genius, far superior to many 
who have written and published volumes. As Dryden 
said of Shakspearc, "He needed not the spectacles of 
books to read Nature; he looked inward, and found 
her there.' ' The same excellence appertains to his 
poetical description of the beautiful scenery and cli- 
mate of Hayti, in his "Vincent Oge." His allusion to 
Columbus' first visit to the Island is full of solemn 

Mr. Vashon is of mixed blood; in stature, of medium 
size, rather round face, with a somewhat solemn coun- 
tenance, a man of few words, — needs to bo drawn out 
to be appreciated. While visiting a distinguished 
colored gentleman at Rochester, New York, some 
years ago, the host, who happened to be a wit as well 
as an orator, invited in "Professor T ," a man igno- 
rant of education, but filled with big talk and high- 
sounding words, without understanding their meaning* 
— to entertain Mr. Vashon, intending it as a joke. 
"Professor T- " used all the language that he was 


master of, but to no purpose. The man of letters sat 
still, listened, gazed at the former, but did not dispute 
any point raised. The uneducated professor, feeling 

that he had been imposed upon, called Mr. D one 

side, and in a whisper, said: — 

"Are you sure that this is an educated man? I fear 
that he is an* impostor; for I tried, but could uot call 
him out." 

.Mr. Vashon has long been engaged in imparting 
education to his down-trodden race, and in this path 
of duty has contributed much for the elevation of his 
people. We are somewhat surprised that none of the 
liberal colleges have done themselves the honor to 
confer upon Mr. Yashon the title of LL. D. 


It is a compliment to a picture to say that it pro- 
duces the impression of the actual scene. Taste has, 
frequently, for its object, works of art. Nature, many 
suppose, may be studied with propriety; but art, they 
reject as entirely superficial. But what is the fact? 
In the highest sense, art is the child of Nature; and is 
most admired when it preserves the likeness of its 
parent. In Venice, the paintings of Titian, and ot the 
Venetian artists generally, exact from the traveller a 
yet higher tribute, for the hues and forms around him 
constantly remind him of their works. 

Many of the citizens of Boston, New York, Wash- 
ington, Philadelphia, and other cities of our country. 
are often called to mention the names of their absent 


or departed friends, by looking upon their features, as 
transferred to canvas by the pencil and brush of 
William H. Simpson, the young colored artist. He 
has evidently taken Titian, Murillo, and Raphael for 
his masters. The Venetian painters were diligent 
students of the nature that was around them. The 
subject of our sketch seems to have imbibed their 
energy, as well as learned to copy the noble example 
they left behind. The history of painters, as well as 
poets, is written in their works. The best life of 
Goldsmith is to be found in his poem of ''The Travel- 
ler," and his novel of "The Vicar of Wakefield." 
No one views the beautiiul portrait of J. P. Kemble, 
in the National Gallery in London, in the character of 
Hamlet, without thinking of Sir Thomas Lawrence, who 
executed it. 

The organ of color is prominent in the cranium of 
Mr. Simpson, and it is well developed. His portraits 
are admired for their life-like appearance, as well as 
for the fine delineation which characterizes them all. 
It is very easy to transcribe the emotions which paint- 
ings awaken, but it is no easy matter to say why a 
picture is so painted as that it must awaken certain 
emotions. Many persons feel art; some understand 
it; but few both feel and understand it. Mr. Simpson 
is rich in depth of feeling and spiritual beauty. His 
portrait of John T. Hilton, which was presented to the 
Masonic Lodge a few months since, is a splendid piece 
of art. The longer you look on the features, the more 
the picture looks like real life. 

The taste displayed in the coloring of the regalia, 
and the admirable perspective of each badge of honor, 
show great skill. No higher praise is needed than to 


say that a gentleman of Boston, distinguished for his 
good judgment in the picture gallery, wishing to 
secure a likeness of Hon. Charles Sumner, induced 
the senator to sit to Mr. Simpson for the portrait; 
and in this instance the artist has been signally suc- 

His likenesses have been so correct, that he has 
often been employed to paint whole families, where 
only one had been bargained for in the commence- 
ment. He is considered unapproachable in taking 
juvenile faces. Mr. Simpson does not aspire to any- 
thing in his art beyond portrait-painting. Neverthe- 
less, a beautiful fancy sketch, hanging in his studio, 
representing summer, exhibits marked ability and 
consummate genius. The wreath upon the head, with 
different kinds of grain interwoven, and the nicety of 
coloriug in each particular kind, causes those who 
view it to regard him as master of his profession. 
Portraits of his execution are scattered over most of 
the Northern States and the Canadas. Some have 
gone to Liberia, Hayti, and California. 

Mr. Simpson is a native of Buffalo, New York, 
where he received a liberal education. But even in 
school, his early inclination to draw likenesses mate- 
rially interfered with his studies. The propensity to 
use his slate and pencil in scratching down his school- 
mates, instead of doing his sums in arithmetic, often 
gained him severe punishment. After leaving school, 
he was employed as errand boy by Matthew Wilson, 
Esq., the distinguished artist, who soon discovered 
young Simpson's genius, and took him as an appren- 
tice. In 1854, they removed to Boston, where Mr. 
Simpson labored diligently to acquire a thorough 


knowledge of the profession. Mr. Wilson stated to the 
writer, that he never had a man who was more attentive 
or more trustworthy than William H. Simpson. 

Of unmixed negro blood, small in stature, a rather 
mild and womanly countenance, firm and resolute eye, 
gentlemanly in appearance, and intelligent in conver- 
sation, Mr. Simpson will be respected for his many 
good qualities. He died in 1872. 


Edward Jordan was born in Kingston, Jamaica, 
in the year 1798. After quitting school, he entered a 
clothing store, as a clerk; but his deep hatred to slav- 
ery, and the political and social outrages committed 
upon the free colored men, preyed upon his mind to 
such an extent that, in 1826, he associated himself 
with Robert Osborn, in the publication of "The 
Watchman," a weekly newspaper devoted to the 
freedom and enfranchisement of the people of color. 

His journal was conducted with marked ability, and 
Mr. Jordan soon began to wield a tremendous influ- 
ence against the slave power. While absent from his 
editorial duties, in 1830, an article appeared in "The 
Watchman," upon which its editor was indicted for 
constructive treason. He was at once arrested, placed 
in the dock, and arraigned for trial. He pleaded "Not 
guilty," and asked for time to prepare for his defence. 
The plea was allowed, and the case was traversed to 
the next court. The trial came on at the appointed 
time; the jury was packed, for the pro-slavery cle- 
ment had determined on the conviction of the distin- 


guishecl advocate of liberty. The whole city appeared 
to oe lost to everything but the proceedings ot the 
assize. It was feared that, if convicted, a riut would 
be the result, and the authorities prepared for this. 

A vessel of war was brought up abreast of the city, 
the guns of which were pointed up one of the principal 
streets, and at almost every avenue leading to the sea, 
a merchant vessel was moored, armed with at least one 
great gun, pointing in a similar direction, to rake the 
streets from bottom to top. "A detachment of soldiers 
was kept under arms, with orders to be ready for 
action at a moment's warning. The officers of the 
court, including the judge, entered upon their duties, 
armed with pistols; and the sheriff was instructed to 
shoot the prisoner in the dock if a rescue was attempted. 
If convicted, Mr. Jordan's punishment was to be 
death. Happily for all, the verdict was "Not guilty." 
The acquittal of the editor of "The Watchman" car- 
ried disappointment and dismay into the ranks of the 
slave oligarchy, while it gave a new impetus to the 
anti-slavery cause, both in Jamaica and in Great Brit- 
ain, and which culminated. in the abolition of slavery 
on the 1st of August, 1834. The following year, Mr. 
Jordan was elected member of the Assembly for the 
city of Kingston, which he still represents. About 
this time, "The Watchman" was converted into a 
daily paper, under the title of "The Morning Journal," 
still in existence, and owned by Jordan and Osborn. 
In 1853, Mr. Jordan was elected mayor of his native 
city without opposition, which office he still holds. 
He was recently chosen premier of the Island, and 
president of* the privy council. 

No man is more respected in the Assembly than Mr. 


Jordan, and reform measures offered by him are often 
carried through the house, owing to the respect the 
members have for the introducer. In the year 1860, 
the honorable gentleman was elevated to the dignity of 
knighthood by the Queen. 

Sir Edward Jordan has ever been regarded as an 
honest, upright, and temperate man. In a literary 
point of view, he is considered one of the first men in 

» It is indeed a cheering sign for the negro to look at 
one of his race who a few years ago was tried for his 
life in a city in which he has since been mayor, and 
has held other offices of honor. 

Mr. Jordan has died since the above sketch was 
written, and no man in Jamaica ever received greater 
honors at his funeral than he. 


Edwin M. Bannister was born in the town of St. 
Andrew, New Brunswick, and lost his father when 
only six} f cars old. He attended the Grammar School 
in his native place, and received a better education 
than persons generally in his position. From early 
childhood he seems to have had a fancy for painting, 
which showed itself in the school-room and at home. 
He often drew portraits of his school-fellows, and the 
master not unfiequently found himself upon the slate, 
where Edwin's success was so manifest that the like- 
ness would call forth merriment from the boys, and, 
create laughter at the expense of the teacher. 


A.t the death of his mother, when still in his minor- 
ity, he was put out to live with the Hon. Harris Hatch, 
a wealthy lawyer, the proprietor of a fine farm some 
little distance in the country. In his new home Edwin 
did not lose sight of his drawing propensities, and 
though the family had nothing in the way of models 
except two faded portraits, kept more as relics than 
for their intrinsic value, he nevertheless practised upon 
them, and often made the copy look more lifelike 
than the original. On the barn doors, fences, and 
every place where drawings could be made, the two 
aDcient faces were to be seen pictured. 

When the family were r.way on the Sabbath at 
church, the young artist would take possession of the 
old Bible, and copy it3 crude engravings, then replace 
it upon the dusty shelf , feeling an inward gratification, 
that, instead of satisfying the inclination, only gave him 
fresh zeal to hunt for new models. By the great variety 
of drawings which he had made on paper, and the correct 
sketches taken, young Bannister gained considerable 
reputation in the lawyer's family, as well as in the 
neighborhood. Often, after the household had retired 
at night, the dim glimmer from the lean tallow candle 
was seen through the attic chamber window. It was 
there that the genius of the embryo artist was struggling 
for development. 

There is a great diversity of opinion with regard to 
genius, many mistaking talent for genius. Talent is 
strength and subtilty of mind: genius is mental inspi- 
ration and delicacy of feeling. Talent possesses vigor 
and acuteness of penetration, but is surpassed by the 
vivid intellectual conceptions of genius. The former 
is skilful and bold, the latter aspiring and gentle. But 


talent excels in practical sagacity; and hence those 
striking contrasts so often witnessed in the world, — 
the triumphs of talent through its adroit and active 
energies, and the adversities of genius in the midst of 
its boundless, but unattainable aspirations. Mr. Ban- 
nister is a lover of poetry and the classics, and is 
always hunting up some new model for his gifted 
pencil and brush. 

He has a beautiful scene representing "Cleopatra 
waiting to receive Marc Antony,'' which I regret that 
I did not see. I am informed, however, that it is a 
beautifully-executed picture. 

Mr. Bannister is of mixed blood, of spare make, slim, 
with an interesting cast of countenance, quick in his 
motions, easy in his manners, and respected by all. 


Mr. Nell is a native of Boston, and from the be- 
ginning ot the anti-slavery agitation was identified 
with the movement. He labored long and arduously 
for equal school-rights for the colored children of his 
native city, where he performed a good work. 

Mr. Nell is the author of the "Colored Patriots of 
the American Revolution,' ' a book filled with inter- 
esting incidents connected with the history of the 
blacks of this country, past and present. He has also 
writen several smaller works, all of which are human- 
itarian in their character. 

Deeply interested in the intellectual development 


and cultivation of his race, he has given much toil 
"without compensation. 

Mr. Nell is of medium height, slim, genteel figure, 
quick step, clastic movement, a thoughtful yet pleasant 
brow, thin face, and chaste in his conversation. 

A student, and a lover of literature, he has a culti- 
vated understanding, and has collected together more 
facts on the race with which he is identified than 
any other man of our acquaintance. 

Mr. Nell is of unimpeachable character, and highly 
respected by his fellow-citizens. 


On looking over the columns of "The Times," one 
morning, I saw it announced under the head of "Amuse- 
incuts,' ' that "Ira Aldridge, the African Roscius," was 
to appear in the character of Othello, in Shakspearc's 
celebrated tragedy of that name, and having long wished 
to see my sable countryman, I resolved at once to at- 
tend. Though the doors had been open but a short 
time when I reached the Royal Haymarket, the theatre 
where the performance was to take place, the house 
was well filled, and anions: the audience I recognized 
the faces of several distinguished persons of the nobil- 
ity, the most noted of whom was Sir Edward Bulw r er 
Lytton, the renowned novelist — his figure neat, trim, 
hair done up in the latest fashion— looking as if he had 
just come out of a band-box. He is a great lover of 
the drama, and has a private theatre at one of his 


country seats, to which he often invites his friends, 
and presses them into the different characters. 

As the time approached for the curtain to rise, it 
was evident that the house was to bo "jammed." 
Stuart, the best lago since the days of Young, in com- 
pany with Roderigo, came upon the stage as soon as 
the green curtain went up. Iago looked the villain, 
and acted it to the highest conception of the character. 
The scene is changed, all eyes are turned to the right 
door, and thunders of applause greet the apcarance of 

Mr. Aldridge is of the middle size, and appeared to 
be about three-quarters African; has a voice deep and 
powerful; and it was very evident that Edmund Kean, 
once his master, was also the model which he carefully 
followed in the part. There were the same deliberate, 
over-distinct enunciations, the same prolonged pauses 
and gradually performed gestures, in imitation of 
Kcan's manner. As Iago began to work upon his 
feelings, the Moor's eyes flashed fire, and, further on 
in the play, he looked the very demon of despair. 
When he seized the deceiver by the throat, and ex- 
claimed, — 

"Villain, be sure thou prove my love false ! 
Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof; 
Or, b}' the worth of mine eternal soul, 
Thou hadst been better have been born a dog, 
Than answer my waked wrath," 

the audience, with one impulse, rose to their feet amid 
the wildest enthusiasm. At the end of the third act, 
Othello was called before the curtain, and received the 
applause of the delighted multitude. I watched the 


countenance and every motion of Bulwer Lytton with 
almost as much interest as I did that of the Moor of 
Venice, and saw that none appeared to bo bettor 
pleased than he. The following evening I went to 
witness his Hamlet, and was surprised to find him as 
perfect in that as he had been in Othello; for I had 
been led to believe that the latter was his greatest 

The whole court of Denmark was before us ; but till 
the words, 

" 'Tis not alone my ink\ T cloak, good mother," — 

fell from tho lips of Mr. Aldridgc, was the general 
ear charmed, or the general tongue arrested. The 
voice was so low, and sad, and sweet, the modu- 
lation so tender, the dignity so natural, the grace so 
consummate, that all yielded themselves silently to the 
delicious enchantment. When Horatio told him that 
he had come to see his father's funeral, the deep mel- 
ancholy that took possession of his face showed the 
great dramatic power of Mr. Aldridgc. 

"I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student !" 

seemed to come from his inmost soul. 

Ira Aldridgc was a native of Africa, bora soon after 
his father's arrival in Senegal, came to the United 
States on the father's return, remained here for a time, 
and was then sent to Scotland, where he received a 
liberal education. During his latter years, Mr. Ald- 
ridgc travelled extensively on the Continent of Europe, 
visiting among other places St. Petersburg, where the 
Russians became wild and enthusiastic over his dra- 


matic representations. He died in London, in 1868, 
leaving a widow, a Swedish lady, with whom he had 
lived happily, and in magnificent style, near London, 
for several years. * 


Oscar J. Dunn was a native of Louisiana, and by 
trade a plasterer, at which he worked during his early 
life. His education was limited, but what he lacked 
in book learning was made up in good common sense. 
In color, he was a brown skin, of commanding 
appearance, dignified in manners, and calculated to 
make a favorable impression upon all who had the 
good fortune to make his acquaintance. Although born 
a slave, he was, nevertheless, one of Nature's noblest 

Called into public life at a time when the condition 
of his race was in a critical transition state, he exhib- 
ited powers of intellect, honesty of purpose, and pri- 
vate virtues seldom equalled. General Sheridan, while 
in command at New Orleans, early discovered the rare 
gifts of Mr. Dunn, and appointed him a member of the 
city council. Ho served the cit}' and state in various 
ways until he was elected to the position of lieutenant- 
governor of the state. Intelligent upon all subjects, 
and remarkable for sound judgment, his opinion and 
counsel upon questions of state were sought by men of 
all parties. As a presiding officer in the Louisiana 
Senate, Mr. Dunn exhibited parliamentary talent that 
at once commanded the respect and challenged the 
admiration of the most fastidious ; and for dispatch of 


business in his official chair, few men in the country 
have been his equal. 

But the greatest characteristic of this man was his 
downright honesty. In this he stood almost alone, for 
while the legislature of Louisiana was charged with 
being a stork-jobbing concern, and its members, one 
after another, rolling in their new-gained wealth, Oscar 
J. Dunn was not only above suspicion, but actually 
died a poor man. 

lie was a calm, Vigilant sentry for Louisiana when 
she dreamed it least. Firmly resisting temptations to 
sin, which too often beset official station, he could 
never be made an accomplice with others against her. 
His inflexible integrity was in itself a mighty protest 
against the shams of the state administration, and 
commanded such candid respect even from the Demo- 
crats, that of late the am Inns of those shams, hi their 
recourse to Democrats for the fresh lease of power 
denied them by Republicans, were constrained to re- 
vive a prejudice for a pretext, and to charge him with 
instigating a black man's party. There existed not a 
fact to justify the charge; but a lie was a fit auxiliary 
to new projects of fraud, and Unhappily, there were 
"itching palms" to subscribe it per order. 

His views were most catholic on the question of 
class. He wanted amity, not jealousy, between the 
colors, for he recognized all in the political society as 
brethren, not as rivals. He felt that injustice to any 
one citizen, white or black, was, if unredressed, a 
menace to all ; that our interests were in common ; 
our ballots, honestly counted, our common consent; 
and our influence for good, our common basis of en- 
deavor for Louisiana. His aims for his race were too 


sincere to embarrass its progress by provoking anew 
the old sectional spleen against it — and he tacitly com- 
pelled in his own case a recognition, which any citizen 
might envy. Standing in a high official trust, and 
yet in a dark skin, he rebuked with quiet, inoffensive 
emphasis, the miserable heresy that a man is more or 
less a worthy citizen because of his color. 

As a speaker, Mr. Dunn was not what the world 
would call "eloquent/' but what he said was always 
listened to with the greatest interest and respect. All 
classes held him in high esteem, and with his own 
color his power was unlimited. Attacked by a sudden 
and sure malady, death swept him away while in the 
zenith of his influence, on the twenty-first of Novem- 
ber, 1871. 


The late rebellion has not produced a more remark- 
able instance of a self-made man than is seen in the 
career of John R. Lynch, Speaker of the House of 
Representatives of Mississippi. He was born in Louis- 
iana, just opposite Natchez, in the year 1847, of a 
slave mother, then the property of a Mr. Lapiche, and 
is now in his twenty-fifth year. His father, being a man 
of wealth and character, made the necessary arrange- 
ments when Mr. Lynch was yet a child, to have him 
and his mother set free, but by his sudden and unex- 
pected death, and treachery on the part of those who 
had entered into the agreement with him, the plan was 
not carried out, and both remained slaves until eman- 
cipated by the result of the war. 


During his time of servitude, and while he was yet 
a boy, Mr. Lynch had a deep, irrepressible desire to 
rise above the hopeless lot to which destiny seemed to 
have assigned him, and went forward with the energy 
which has characterized him since that time, to the 
acquirement of as much education as was within his 
reach. He learned to read and write while a slave, 
but no more. After his mother became the property 
of Mr. Alfred Davis, she was taken to Natchez with 
her children, and has lived there ever since. In 1804, 
and while the Federal troops were in possession of 
that city, Mr. Lynch enjoyed the opportunity of attend- 
ing night school, for four months only, and that" closed 
all the educational advantages of which he has been 
possessed. Since that time he has been entirely de- 
pendent on his own efforts and resources, and his innate 
desire to obtain knowledge, for the advancement he 
has made. 

That his career has been most remarkable thus far, 
canuot be denied by any one. This will appear most 
evident by a comparison of his humble origin and the 
many disadvantages under which he has labored, with 
the honorable position he now holds, and the high 
qualifications he brings with him to sustain him in 
that place. In point of education, he is amply fitted; 
in natural ability that is well-defined, cultivated, and 
ready, he certainly has uo superior in the House. His 
knowledge of parliamentary law and usages has been 
tested in many heated contests with the best tacticians 
of the legislature, and proved to be inferior to none, 
however able. Ncr do all these high qualifications, so 
amply possessed by Mr. Lynch, contain all the good 
things we have to say of him. He has the still higher 


virtue of unimpeached honesty and veracity. During 
all the two years of tempting trials that he has wit- 
nessed, it never once was intimated that he was even 
open to suspicion. The record he made during all that 
time is as pure and untarnished as the driven snow. No 
one ever questioned his integrity, or clouded his fair 
name with the intimation that he deviated from the path 
of rectitude and right. If he sometimes departed from 
the course marked out by a majority of his party, he 
did so, as he believed, in the discharge of a solemn 
duty, and with no other desire than to do what he 
conceived to be right. 

He was appointed justice of the peace by General 
Ames in 1868, for the city of Natchez, took a promi- 
nent part in the constitutional convention of the State, 
was a member of the last legislature, and now fills the 
Speaker's chair. Mr. Lynch is fluent in speech, elo- 
quent in his addresses, chaste in his language, and 
gentlemanly in all his intercourse with others. Me- 
dium in size, genteel in figure, brown in complexion, 
with piercing eyes, amiable countenance, manly and 
upright walk, Mr. Lynch makes a dignified appearance 
in the speaker's chair, and handles the gavel according 
to Cushing. He has been elected to a seat in Congress 
from his state. 


The subject of this sketch is one of the deepest 
thinkers of which the black man can boast in our broad 
land. In early life, he was engaged in the lumber 
trade in Columbia, Pennsylvania, in which he se 


cured a competency. Even while battling with the 
world for filthy luere, Mr. Whipper gave much of his 
time to the advocacy of the freedom of the slave, and 
the elevation of the colored men of the North. In his 
business relations with the whites he always left a 
good impression of the negro's capability, honesty, 
and gentlemanly deportment. 

In 1833, he took charge of the editorial department 
of the ''National Reformer," a monthly magazine, 
published by the American Moral Reform Society. 
Mr. Whipper's editorials were couched in chaste and 
plain language, but bold and outspoken in the advo- 
cacy of truth. lie said: — 

"We believe that Education, Temperance, Economy, 
and Universal Liberty, if properly carried out, will 
prove a powerful auxiliary in producing this necessary 
reformation, on which rests the Christian's hope. 
They are now producing wonders in our country, under 
distinct and specific organizations. They are adhesive 
virtues, and as capable of uniting with each other as a 
like number of seas are of commingling their waters, 
and forming one great ocean. If this mighty current 
of philanthropy could become united in one living 
stream, it would soon sweep from our country every 
vestige of misery and oppression. And is it not as 
necessary that it should be so, as that a single mind 
should embrace these principles alone? Our country 
is rich with the means of resuscitating her from moral 
degeneracy. She possesses all the elements for her 
redemption; she has but to will it, and she is free." 

Mr. Whipper is a mulatto of fine personal appear- 
ance, above the middle size, stoops a little, — that bend 
of the shoulders that marks the student. He is remark- 


ably well read, able to cite authority from the ancients, 
and posted in all the current literature of the day. He 
is social and genial, and very interesting and enter- 
taining in conversation. Mr. Whipper resides in 
Philadelphia, where he is highly respected by all 
classes, and loved and looked up to by his own race. 


Mr. Cardozo is a native of Charleston, South Caro- 
lina; is a mulatto, with a slight preponderance of An- 
glo-Saxon blood. He is thirty-five years old, and 
therefore, is in the prime of life. He was born free, 
and had advantages of northern schools, and finished 
his education at the Newburg Collegiate Institute. 
From 1861 to 1866, he was a school-teacher. In 1868, 
he went to North Carolina as a pioneer in the cause of 
education among the freedmen, and to establish a 
normal school in the eighteenth congressional district, 
and to use his influence in procuring state aid in 
organizing a system of common schools. His success 
in this enterprise was all that the most sanguine devo- 
tee could have expected. He remained there until the 
schools were firmly fixed upon a substantial basis. 

In 1870, Mr. Cardozo removed to Vicksburg, Missis- 
sippi. He did not apply for any office, although it is 
well known that all the offices in the State were in 
that year filled by appointment of the governor, — but 
he went to work, and organized a large school in the 
city, which soon took rank among the first in the State. 


In 1871, at the earnest solicitation of the members of 
the Republican party, he became a candidate for, and 
was elected to, the office of Circuit Clerk of Warren 
County. For the manner in which he has discharged 
the intricate duties of that very responsible office, he 
elicited the highest compliments from the judge as 
well as the members of the bar. 

Mr. Cardozo has recently been nominated for State 
Superintendent of Education, a position which he is in 
every way well qualified to fill. Pie will bring to (he 
office a practical knowledge which will be of great ser- 
vice to the Slate, and a Listing benefit to the race with 
whom he is identified. 

Modest and reserved, dignified and gentlemanly, 
Mr. Cardozo is calculated to gain the esteem and con- 
fidence of all with whom he may come in contact. 


Although born free, in Norfolk, Virginia, Mrs. De 
Mortie's education was limited. This, however, she 
strove to improve by studying when the time for 
her school days had passed. She came to Boston in 
1853, we believe, and made it her home. In the 
autumn of 1862, Mrs. De Mortie began as a public 
reader in Boston, and her rare ability, eloquent ren- 
dering of the poets, pleasing manner, and good sense, 
gained for her a host of admiring friends, among whom 
were some of the leading men and women of the coun- 
try, and a successful public career seemed to be before 
her. But hearing of the distress and want amongst 


the colored children of New Orleans, left orphans by 
the war, she resolved to go there, and devote herself to 
their welfare. Although urged by her relatives and 
friends at the North to leave New Orleans until the 
yellow fever had ceased, she refused to desert her 
post, saying that her duty was with her helpless race. 

In 1867, Mrs. De Mortie undertook to raise the 
means to build an Orphan Home, and succeeded in ob- 
taining the amount required for the erection of the 
building. But her useful career was cut short by the 
yellow fever. She died on the tenth of October, 1867, 
in the thirty-fourth year of her age. She bore her 
illness with Christian fortitude, aud in her last mo- 
ments said, with a childlike simplicity % "I belong to 
God, our Father." 

The announcement of her death was received with 
regret by her large circle of friends at the North, 
while the newspapers of New Orleans, her adopted 
home, spoke of her in the most eulogistic terms. 

Mrs. De Mortie was a remarkably gifted and brill- 
iant woman. In personal appearance, she was some- 
what taller than the middle height, with a Grecian cast 
of countenance, eyes dark and sparkling, lips swelling, 
forehead high, refined manners, and possessing energy 
which always brings success. In fact, it may be truth- 
fully said, that Louise De Mortie was one of the most 
beautiful of her sex. 


Mr. Basse tt is a self-made man, and may safely be 
put forward as one of the best representatives of his 


race. Born at Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1833, Mr. 
Bassett graduated, the foremost scholar of his class, 
at the Birmingham Academy, when quite young, 
and afterwards graduated at the Connecticut State Nor- 
mal School, with high honor, in 1853. He imme- 
diately thereafter removed to New Haven, took charge 
of a public grammar school in that city, and eagerly 
availed himself of the facilities afforded by Yale Col- 
lege, to prosecute the study of the classics, mathemati- 
cal science, and general literature. In 1855, he was 
called by the Orthodox Society of Friends to the charge 
of the Philadelphia Colored High School, which, under 
his management, became very widely known as the 
foremost institution of the kind in the country. The 
honorary degree of Master of Arts was conferred 
upon him by the Lincoln University at Oxford, 

On the elevation of General Grant to the presidency, 
Mr. Bassett beeame a candidate for the Haytian Mis- 
sion, and so well satisfied were the people generally, 
that he received the unsolicited endorsement of the 
ablest men, colored and white, of all parties. 

He is a mulatto of medium size, prominent fea- 
tures, nearly straight black hair, neat figure, gentle- 
manly in personal appearance, intelligent and chaste 
in conversation, and possesses a high moral character. 
He is a ripe scholar, well versed in the classics, and 
has much literary taste. 

As a representative of the United States to another 
government, Mr. Bassett has more than fulfilled the 
most sanguine expectations of his friends, while the 
country generally regard him as one of the ablest of 
our diplomatic agents. His correspondence with the 


Home Government has shown him to be a man of de 
cided ability. Indeed, Mr. Bassett's manly deport- 
ment, and dignified and high-toned character, have 
raised the Haytian mission to a more elevated position 
than it has ever before enjoyed. 


As a student at Oberlin College, Wiliam Howard 
Day stood well, and graduated with honors. He re- 
sided some years at Cleveland, Ohio, where, for a 
time, he published a weekly newspaper, which rendered 
timely and efficient service to the cause of freedom, and 
the elevation of the colored people of that State. In 
1856 or 1857, he visited England, where he was much 
admired for his scholarly attainments, and truly genuine 
eloquence. On his return home, Mr. Day became asso- 
ciate editor of the "Zion's Standard and Weekly Re- 
view.' ' He now resides at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 
where he publishes "Our National Progress," a paper 
devoted to the cause of reform, and the elevation of 

As a speaker, Mr. Day may be regarded as one of 
the most effective of the present time ; has great self- 
possession, and gaiety of imagination; is rich in the 
selection of his illustrations, well versed in history, 
literature, science, and philosophy, and can draw on 
his finely-stored memory at will. As a writer, Mr. 
Day is far above newspaper editors generally, exhibit- 
ing much care and thought in many of his articles. As 
a speaker and writer, he has done a good work for his 
race. * 


He is a mulatto of ordinary size, has a large and well- 
balanced head, high forehead, bright eyes, intellectual 
and pleasing countenance, genteel figure, and is what 
the ladies would call "a handsome man." Mr. Day, 
besides his editorial duties, holds a responsible and 
lucrative office in the State Department of Pennsyl- 
vania, which he fills with honor to himself, and profit 
to the State. 


Dr. Revels is a native of North Carolina, where, 
at Fayetteville, Cumberland County, he was horn, a 
freeman, on the first of September, A. D., 1822. 
Passing his boyhood and youth, until about twenty- 
one years of age, in North Carolina, he went to northern 
Indiana, the laws of his native state forbidding colored 
schools. The parents of the lad had -been permitted 
to prepare him somewhat for an education, and he had 
been studying, off and on, some years previous to 
leaving for the North. He passed two years in In- 
diana, attending a Quaker school, and then removed to 
Dark County, Ohio, where he remained for some time, 
and subsequently graduated at Knox College, at Gales- 
burg, Illinois; and after that, entered the ministry as 
a preacher of the gospel under the auspices of the 
Methodist Church. At this time he was twenty-five 
years of age. His first charge was in Indiana. From 
entering the service of the church to the present time 
he has steadily persevered as a preacher, and is well 
known as a practical Christian and a zealous and elo- 
quent expounder of the word. 


After some years in Indiana, he filled important 
posts in Missouri, Maryland, Kentucky, and Kansas, 
in the cause of the African M. E. Church. He was 
in Maryland in 1861, at the breaking out of the war, 
and materially aided in forming in that State the first 
Maryland colored regiment. He was also able to 
assist in Missouri in raising the first colored regiment 
in that State, and returned to Mississippi in 1864, 
settling in Vicksburg, where he had charge of a 
church congregation, and assisted in organizing other 
churches, and in forming and putting into operation 
the school system, visiting various portions of the 
State on his own responsibility, and among other 
places, preaching in Jackson. His health failing, 
Dr. Revels went to the North once more, after the 
close of hostilities, where he remained eighteen 
months. Returning, he located at Natchez, where he 
preached regularly to a large congregation, and where 
General Ames, then military governor, appointed him 
to the position of alderman. In 1869, he was duly 
elected to the State Senate. 

In January, 1870, Dr. Revels was selected to rep- 
resent Mississippi in the United States Senate, the 
announcement of which took the country by surprise, 
and as the time drew near for the colored senator to 
appear in his place in Congress, the interest became 
intense. Many who had heard reconstruction dis- 
cussed in its length and breadth, — by men of pro- 
phetic power and eloquent utterance, by men of 
merely logical and judicial minds, by men narrow and 
selfish, as well as those sophistical and prejudiced, - 
and who had no particular interest in the debates, 
still came day after day, hoping to see qualified for his 


seat in the senate the first colored man presenting 
himself for so high an office, the first to he in eminent 
civil service in the general government. 

At last, on Friday, February 2d, 1870, a day never 
to be forgotten, at about five o'clock, in the presence 
of the chamber and galleries crowded with expectant 
and eager spectators, the oath was administered to 
Hiram R. Revels, by the vice-president. Senator 
Wilson accompanied him to the chair, and he was at 
once waited upon to his *eat by the sergeant-at-arms. 

Saulsbury had done his best to turn backward the 
wheels of progress; Davis fought in vain, declaring 
he would "resist at every step" this unconstitutional 
measure, giving illustrations, dissertations, execrations, 
and recommendations of and for the "Negro" and his 
Republican friends; Stockton, in the interest of law 
and precedent, begged that the subject should go to 
the judiciary committee, but the party of freedom 
moved on in solid phalanx of unanimity to the historic 
result. Mr. Sumner, who had not taken part in the 
debate, raised his voice with impressiveness and power, 
comprehending the whole question in a short speech 
just before the vote. 

Thus was accomplished the last important step in 
the National Legislature for those once enslaved, and 
the crowning rebuke to the Rebellion, especially as 
the Mississippi senator took the seat made vacant by 
Jefferson Davis when 'his treason became known to the 
North and to the government. After the close of his 
senatorial course, he was appointed President of Alcorn 
University, with a salary of two thousand five hundred 
dollars per annum, which place and its emoluments he 
left, — at the desire of Governor Powers, and as he 


thought it his duty, — to serve as Secretary of State, at 
the longest possible time, for less than one year. He 
had four years still remaining of his office as Presi- 
dent of the University; hence, financially considered, 
he sacrificed something in reaching the higher official 
honors. It is due to him to say that the appoint- 
ment was bestowed unsolicited by himself, through 
the governor's belief in his fitness for the position. 
Dr. Eevels is a mulatto, of good address, of medium 
size, hair curly, features somewhat prominent, with 
something of the ministerial air. 


Mr. Elliott has the honor of representing in Con- 
gress the South Carolina District, once filled by John 
C. Calhoun, the most distinguished man of the olden 
time from the Palmetto State. We have not been able 
to inform ourselves as to Mr. Elliott's birth-place and 
educational advantages ; but we understand, however, 
that he studied and adopted the law as a profession, in 
which he stands high. He commenced his political 
career at the South, and was a member of the State 
Constitutional Convention of South Carolina in 1868 ; 
was a member of the House of Representatives of 
South Carolina from July 6, 1868, to October 23, 1870 ; 
was appointed, on the 25th of March, 1869, Assistant 
Adjutant-General, which position he held until he was 
elected to the Forty-second Congress as a Republican. 

Mr. Elliott is black, of unmixed blood, strongly- 


marked negro features, close curly hair, bright and 
penetrating eyes, genteel in his personal appearance, 
somewhat English in his acceut, a good speaker, and 
dignified in his manners. His speeches in Congress, 
and his public addresses before his constituents, show 
him to be a man of high cultivation. With his own 
race, Mr. Elliott stands deservedly well, and com- 
mands the respect of the whites everywhere. In Con- 
gress, he is looked upon as an able debater, and is 
listened to with marked attention. 


The negro's ability to master language, his vivid 
imagination, his great delight in rhetorical exercise, 
his inward enthusiasm, his seeming power to transport 
himself into the scene which he describes, or the emo- 
tion he has summoned, has long puzzled the brain of 
our deepest and most acute thinkers. The best test of 
true eloquence is the effect it produces upou the lis- 
tener. The finest illustration of the self-made orator 
maybe found in J. Madison Bell, whose poetic genius, 
classic mind, and highly-cultivated understanding has 
never been appreciated by our people. 

In the winter of 1867, it was our good fortune to 
make the acquaintance of this gentleman, then giving 
a series of poetical readings at Washington. His 
evening's entertainment was made up entirely of his 
own writings, and they were all of a superior character. 
Mr. Bell is a rare instance of the combination of the 
highest excellence of the poet with the best style of 


the orator. The oratory of some men is not easily 
described; so it is with Mr. Bell. His masterly argu- 
ment, acute reasoning, and the soul-stirring appeals 
to the highest feelings of our nature soon carry away 
the listener in an enthusiasm of admiration. His 
descriptive powers, both in his writings and his extem- 
poraneous addresses, are of the highest order. 

Mr. Bell has spent some years in California, where 
he did much for the elevation of his race. He now 
resides in Ohio, and exerts a good influence in behalf 
of the cause of universal freedom. He is a mulatto, of 
fine physical appearance, high, broad forehead, coun- 
tenance beaming with intelligence, handsome, like 
most of his race who have a mixture of Anglo-Saxon. 
Mr. Bell was born in Gallipolis, in 1827, and was in 
early life a plasterer by trade, but ere long he laid 
aside the trowel for the pen. 


The subject of this sketch was born a slave, and 
resided in Missouri. He received his education at 
Oberlin College, where he gained the reputation of 
possessing remarkable oratorical ability. Whether he 
graduated at that institution or not, we have been un- 
able to learn. It is said, however, that he has a 
classical education, and is refined in his manners. In 
the last presidential election, Mr. Turner was the 
leader of the colored citizens in St. Louis, where it is 
asserted that he was the most eloquent man on the 


After the inauguration of President Grant, Mr. Tur- 
ner received the appointment of Consul General to 
Liberia, the government of which received him with 
distinguished honors. At his reception, Mr. Turner 
said: "In the true spirit of progress, you have planted 
upon these shores the germ of a republic that is des- 
tined not only to develop a civilization worthy of the 
respect and admiration of unborn generations, but by 
means of the Christian religion to debarbarize and 
benefit for almost immediate usefulness thousands of 
human beings whose intellects are to-day debased by 
the destructive potency of heathenish superstition." 


Of our many gifted, enthusiastic, and eloquent men, 
few have been more favored by nature than Henry M. 
Turner. A native of South Carolina, he seems to have 
the genius and fire of the Calhouns and McDuffies, 
without possessing a drop of their blood. Mr. Turner 
is a good-sized, fine-looking, brown-skinned man, of 
forty years of age, with a splendid voice, fluent in 
speech, pleasing in gestures, and powerful in his de- 
livery. It is said that at the tender age of twelve, he 
had a dream in which he saw multitudes of men coming 
to him to be taught.* That dream made an impression 
that followed him to the present time, and no doubt 
had much influence in shaping his course of life. He 
was licensed to preach before he had reached his 

* Tanner's "Apology," p. 415. 


twenty-first year. He joined the A. M. E. Church in 
1857. During the rebellion, President Lincoln ap- 
pointed him chaplain of the 1st Regiment, U. S. C. T., 
and the first, too, of all the colored chaplains. He 
resigned his pastoral relations with his church, and 
followed his brother-men to the battle-field, and re- 
mained in service till the close of the war. 

In his "Apology," Tanner says of Dr. Turner: 
"He is a remarkable man; and though at times the 
paraphernalia of the kitchen seems to be in the parlor, 
and, vice versa, there is always enough of him to 
demand the respect of the most learned and the admira- 
tion of the masses. More earnest than polite, a man 
who thinks for himseJf, speaks as he feels, and who 
fears only God, his memory will not cease with his 
life — a man who may truly say with Themistocles, 
' 'Tis true I never learned how to tune a harp, or play 
upon a lute; but I know how to raise a small and 
inconsiderable city to glory and greatness.' " 

In a sermon preached on the death of the Rev. Mil- 
ton Tillinghast, pastor of the First Baptist Church, 
Macon, Georgia, Dr. Turner shows himself to be an 
able theologian, and a man of the finest sensibilities. 
His "Negro in all Ages" is a production of rare merit, 
and exhibits great research. 


Mr. Rainey is a native of South Carolina, and was 
born at Georgetown. His parents purchased their 
freedom, and gave the son a good education, although 


it was against the law to do such an act. His father 
was a barber, and he followed that occupation at 
Charleston till 18G2, when, having been forced to work 
on the fortifications of the Confederates, he escaped to 
the West Indies, where he remained until the close of 
the war, when he returned to his native town. He 
was elected a delegate to the State Constitutional Con- 
vention of 18()8, and was a member of the State Senate 
of South Carolina in 1870, resigning when elected to 
the Forty-first Congress as a Republican to fill the 
vacancy caused by the non-reception of B. F. Whitte- 
inore, and was re-elected to the Forty-second Congress 
as a Republican. 

Mr. Raiuey is below the medium size, of a dark 
olive complexion, straight, black hair, finely chiseled 
features, modest in manners, and dignified in his de- 
portment. Although not what the world would call 
an orator, he is, nevertheless, an able debater, and in 
his reply to "Sunset" Cox, in the House of Represen- 
tatives, showed talents superior to the New Yorker. 


Miss Jackson was born, we believe, in the District 
of Columbia, about the year 1837, and was left an 
orphan while yet a child. She was brought up by her 
aunt, Mrs. Sarah Clark. She had but limited oppor- 
tunities for education in Washington, in those days. 
In charge of Mrs. Orr, she removed to New Bedford 
when in her sixteenth year. After remaining here a 


while, she took up her residence in the family of 
Mayor Caldwell, at Newport, Ehode Island. It was 
at this time that Miss Jackson evinced those high attri- 
butes of mind which have since culminated in the ripe 

Her rare genius attracted the attention of Mr. Cald- 
well, and by his aid, in connection with Mrs. Clark, 
she was able to enter school at Bristol, Ehode Island, 
and begin the studies of the higher branches. After 
due preparation here, Miss Jackson went to Oberlin 
College, where she soon took rank with the most indus- 
trious and progressive students. To enable her to 
assist in paying her increased expenses, she taught 
music in families in the village, and thereby aided 
others while she was helping herself. Her intellectual 
aspirations and moral endowments gained the undi- 
vided respect and sympathy of her Oberlin teachers. 

Graduating with honors, Miss Jackson at once took 
a position as teacher in the high school for colored 
youths in Philadelphia, where she is at present the 
principal. Her ability in governing an institution of 
learning has given her more than a local fame. She 
believes in progress, and is still the student. She has 
written some good articles for the press, which evince 
culture of no mean order. As a writer, she is a cogent 
reasoner, a deep thinker, taking hold of live issues, 
and dealing with them in a masterly manner. 

Miss Jackson has appeared on the platform, and with 
telling effect. In her addresses, which are always 
written, she is more fluent than eloquent, more solid 
than brilliant, more inclined to labored arguments than 
to rounded periods and polished sentences, and yet no 
period or sentence lacks finish. Wit, humor, pathos, 


irony, — flow from her lips as freely as water from an 
unfailing fountain. 

Looking baek at her struggles for education and the 
high position she has attained as a teacher and a lady 
of letters, Miss Jackson is altogether one of the most 
remarkable women of our time. 

In person, she is of medium size; in complexion, a 
mulatto: features, well-defined, w r ith an intelligent cast 
of countenance. The organ of benevolence is promi- 
nently developed, as are the organs of causality, com- 
parison, ideality, and sublimity. This accounts for the 
elegance of her diction, the dazzle of her rhetoric, and 
the native grace of her fascinating powers. Irre- 
proachable in her reputation, with her rare gifts and 
moral aspirations, Miss Jackson cannot fail to be of 
untold benefit to her race. 


Mr. Ransier is, in every respect, a self-made man. 
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, and, although hia 
parents were free, they had to contend with poverty 
on the one hand and slavery on the other, and the 
son's opportunities for education were poor. It is said 
that he never had any regular schooling. Yet he so 
far advanced in a common business education that at 
the age of sixteen years he was engaged in shipping 
cotton, rice, and other produce for some of the leading 
commercial houses in Charleston. Throughout all his 
business relations, Mr. Ransier gained the respect and 
confidence of those with whom he had dealings. 


Immediately after the war, he contributed much 
towards the first Republican Convention held in his 
State, 1866, and was chosen by it to convey a memo- 
rial from that body to the Congress of the United 
States, setting forth the grievances of the loyal people, 
and asking the protection and aid of the government 
in their behalf. He remained in Washington nearly 
one month, as a member of what was known as the 
"Outside Congress," which was composed of the lead- 
ing colored men from all parts of the country . He was 
chairman of the executive committee of that body. 

He was a member of the constitutional convention, 
and presidential elector on the Grant and Colfax ticket 
in 1868. He conducted that campaign, as chairman 
of the Republican State Executive Committee, with 
great judgment and ability. He was auditor of 
Charleston County, and resigned it on accepting the 
nomination as a candidate for lieutenant-governor. 
Being elected by a large majority to the latter position, 
he became, ex-officio, presiding officer of the senate, 
and, as such, was very popular among the members, 
because of his just rulings and courteous manners. 

He is known to be favorable to general amnesty, and 
somewhat conservative upon many questions of public 
policy, but no one has ever assailed his private reputa- 
tion. He may be regarded as one of the most reliable 
and influential men in the South. 

Mr. Ransier is a mulatto, under forty years of age, 
of good address, energetic, and at times enthusiastic, 
full of activity, genial, good-natured, genteel in his 
personal appearance, and has all the bearing of a well- 
bred gentleman. He has been elected to a seat in 
Congress, where he will no doubt ably represent his 


race, and prove a valuable addition to the cause of 
Republicanism. As a speaker, Mr. Ransicr stands 
well, being a good debater, always using refined lan- 
guage and — what is better than all, — good sense in 
his arguments. 


To be a good debater is one of the noblest gifts of 
God to a public speaker. There are thousands of men 
in and out of the pulpit, who can deliver sermons and 
addresses, original or selected, and do it in the most 
approved style of oratory, and yet cannot debate a 
simple question with a child. This may seem extrava- 
gant to those who have not been behind the curtain 
with public men. A proficient and reliable debater 
must have brains, a well-stored mind, with ability to 
draw upon the resources at will; then the gift of gab, 
a temper entirely under his control, and must possess a 
common degree of politeness. Give such a man a fair 
cause, and you have a first-class debater. We listened 
to the ablest men in and out of the British Parliament 
twenty years ago, when Brougham, Derby, Thompson, 
Disraeli, Cobclen, and a host of English orators, were 
in their prime, and w T e sat with delight in the gallery 
of the French Assembly when the opposition was led 
by Lamartine. We spent twenty -five years with the 
abolitionists of our own country, and in whose meet- 
ings more eloquence was heard than with any other 
body of men and women that ever appeared upon the 
world's platform. And alter all, we have come to the 


conclusion that the most logical, ready, reliable, and 
eloquent debater we have ever heard is a black man, and 
that black man, the gentleman whose name heads this 

Isaiah C. Wears is a resident of Philadelphia, but a 
native of Baltimore, Maryland, and is about fifty years 
of age. For more than a quarter of a century he has 
been a leading man in his city, and especially in the 
organization and support of literary societies. The 
4 'Plutonian Institute," "Garrisonian Institute," "The 
Philadelphia Library Company," and some smaller as- 
sociations, owe their existence to the energy, untiring 
zeal, and good judgment of Mr. Wears. Fidelity to 
the freedom and elevation of his own race kept him 
always on the alert, watching for the enemy. The 
Colonization Society found in him a bitter and relent- 
less foe; and the negro, an able and eloquent advocate. 

He has long stood at the head of "The Banneker 
Institute," one of the finest and most useful associa- 
tions in our country, and where we have listened to as 
good speeches as ever were made in the halls of Con- 
gress. Mr. Wears is not confined in his labors to the 
literary and the political, but is one of the foremost 
men in the church, and, had he felt himself called upon 
to preach, he would now be an ornament to the pulpit. 

In person, he is small, of neat figure, pure in his 
African origin, intelligent countenance, and an eye 
that looks right through you. Mr. Wears has a good 
education, is gentlemanly in appearance, well read, 
with a character unimpeachable, and is a citizen hon- 
ored and respected by all. 



Josiah T. Walls was born at Winchester, Virginia, 
December 30, 1842; received a common-school educa- 
tion; is a planter; was elected a member of the State 
Constitutional Convention in 1868; was elected a 
member of the House of Representatives of the State 
Legislature in 1868 ; after serving one year, was elected 
to the State Senate for four years in 1869, and was 
elected to the Forty-second Congress as a Republican, 
from the State of Florida. 

In stature, Mr. Walls is slim and thin; in complex- 
ion, a mulatto; close, curly hair; genteel in dress; 
polite in manners; and well esteemed by those who 
know him best. 

He sometimes reads his speeches, which makes him 
appear dull; but, in reality, he is a man of force and 
character, and has done a good work in his adopted 

Mr. Walls is deeply interested in agriculture, and 
takes pride in inculcating his well-informed views in 
the freedmen, whose welfare he has at heart. As a 
farmer, he ranks amongst the foremost in his locality, 
and his stock is improved far above that of his 


James D. Sampson, of North Carolina, the father 
of the subject of this notice, by his wealth and enter- 
prise as a house carpenter, gave the Sampson family 


distinction in that State many years ago. They were 
free people, of Scottish and African lineage, who val- 
ued education highly, and boasted somewhat of their 
revolutionary ancestry. He educated his children at 
Northern schools, and (by special legislation) before 
the war, was allowed certain privileges for his family. 
It was a question, however, with the authorities, after 
he had erected several fine buildings, whether he 
should be allowed to live in the one intended for his 
family, although the street in the neighborhood of his 
property took his name. 

John, Benjamin, and Joseph were inclined to literary 
professions. Benjamin, probably the best scholar, 
graduated at Oberlin College; was professor of the 
classics at the Avery Institute, in Pennsylvania, and is 
now filling a similar position with credit, at Wilber- 
force, Ohio. John P. Sampson, the most active in 
public life, was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, 
1838. At an early age, he was sent to Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, where he acquired a common-school 
education; then among the first colored youth enter- 
ing the white schools of Boston, he graduated from 
Comer's College through a course in book-keeping, 
navigation, and civil engineering, but began life as a 
teacher in the public schools of New York, until in- 
spired by a speech from William Watkins, when he 
gave up the school, and engaged to canvass New York 
under Horace Greeley and James M'Cune Smith, in 
behalf of Negro Suffrage, continuing for several years 
in the lecturing field through the West. 

He published the "Colored Citizen" several years 
at Cincinnati, the only colored war-policy paper pub- 
lished during the war, and was aided by the Christian 


Commission, which circulated thousands among the 
colored soldiers. The paper, was generally quoted as 
the soldiers' organ. At the same time, he edited 
through the mail a paper published by a company of 
colored men in Louisville, Kentucky. He studied 
theology at the Western Theological Seminary in 
Pennsylvania, and was ordained elder over a pros- 
perous congregation in Alleghany, Pennsylvania; was 
principal of the Phonetic Aeadenvy, at Bowling Green, 
Kentucky, assisted by Professor Murray and other able 
teachers. He accepted an engagement in the work of 
reconstruction; was commissioned by General Howard 
to look after schools in the Third District of North 
Carolina; elected treasurer and assessor of Wilming- 
ton; nominated for the Legislature, and soon became a 
prominent candidate for Congress; and might have 
succeeded, were it not for some perversion of his 
father's connection with the purchase of slaves before 
the war, in order to assist them in ■ obtaining their 

Becoming interested in the profession of the law, he 
gave up his prospects in the South, stood a clerical 
examination at Washington, was appointed to a clerk- 
ship in the Treasury, read law at the National Law 
University, graduated, and was admitted to practice in 
the District Supreme Court. He soon became promi- 
nent in district politics, published a spirited cam- 
paign paper, was engaged by the general committee to 
speak in the Republican canvass of 1872, and has since 
been commissioned by Governor Cook as one of the 
justices for the district, in connection with his present 
position at the Treasury. 

Mr. Sampson is an able writer, an eloquent and in- 


teresting speaker, polished and gentlemanly in his 
manners, and highly respected. In person, he is tall 
and slim, with a genteel figure, well-balanced head, 
bright eye, and a countenance beaming with intelli- 


Mr. Turner is a man of large size, full chest, and 
broad shoulders, flat nose, curly hair, and has the 
appearance of having experienced plantation life. 

He was born in Halifax County, North Carolina, 
March 17, 1825; was raised as a slave, and received no 
early education, because the laws of that State made it 
criminal to educate slaves; removed to Alabama in 
1830, and, by clandestine study, obtained a fair educa- 
tion; is now a dealer in general merchandise ; was 
elected tax collector of Dallas County, in 1867, and 
councilman of the city of Selma, in 1869; and was 
elected to the Forty-second Congress as a Republican 
from the State of Alabama. Mr. Turner, though 
always in his seat during the sitting of the House, is 
very quiet; is seldom seen conversing; votes, but 
never speaks; has a reputation for good sense and 
political business sagacity. He has the unbounded 
confidence of his constituents, and is looked up to as a 
leader amongst his people. 


Struggling upward from the colored man's starting- 
point in the South, and at last reaching a seat in the 


United States Senate, Mr. Pinchback has placed him- 
self in the front rank of the race which his color 
represents. His position as Lieutenant-Governor of 
the State of Louisiana, at a time when true courage, 
manly vigor, great prudence, and good judgment were 
needed, showed him to be in possession of some of the 
best qualities of a statesman. 

The wily Warmoth found more than his match in his 
attempts to make a tool of the colored man. Becoming 
acting Governor of the State, he surprised even his 
most intimate friends in the ability he exhibited. 

For the victory over Warmoth, and the great bene- 
fit that will accrue from it to the State, the people of 
Louisiana owe much to Acting-Governor Pinchback. 
Had he accepted the tendered bribe of Warmoth, and 
acted as his accomplice, the outrages upon the treas- 
ury of the State, the installation of persons as State 
officials against the expressed wish of the people, 
would have been carried out without any means of re- 
dress being left in the hands of the people. By the 
patriotic action of Governor Pinchback, the calamities 
that would have followed the continuance of the power 
of Warmoth were averted, and a greater feeling of 
security at once sprang up amongst the masses. 

The colored population of Louisiana have reason to 
be proud that one of their race was so conspicuously 
instrumental in seizing the opportunity for opening 
the way to rid the State of that power which had re- 
tarded its progress. 

The statesmanlike conduct of Oscar J. Dunn and 
Mr. Pinchback reflects great credit upon the intelli- 
gence of the colored citizens of that commonwealth. 

Mr. Pinchback is a man of energy, eloquent in 


speech, gentlemanly in manners, kind and hospitable, 
and is said to be a man of wealth. 


Mr. Lynch was born in the city of Baltimore, 
Maryland, about the year 1840. His father, who fol- 
lowed a mercantile pursuit, was a freedman, and his 
mother had been a slave, but had her liberty pur- 
chased by her husband. While quite young, James 
was employed in caring for his father's interests, and 
there are those living who remember him as a remarka- 
ably smart and fine appearing lad, driving the delivery 
team which hauled goods to his father's patrons in the 
city. As soon as old enough, he was sent to Hanover, 
New Hampshire, to enter Kimball University, from 
which institution, in due time, he graduated with usual 

After completing his education, Mr. Lynch went to 
Indiana, where he was a preacher of the Gospel for 
some years. He then went to Galena, Illinois, where 
he married. We next hear of him in Philadelphia, 
pursuing the honorable calling of editor of the * 'Ke- 
corder," a popular Methodist publication. He was 
known everywhere as an eloquent speaker and able 
and fluent writer, and he moved in as good society as 
perhaps any of his compeers enjoyed. 

In the year 1867, Mr. Lynch removed to the State of 
Mississippi, and filled the pulpit in one of the Metho- 
dist churches in Jackson. He there became editor of 
a religious journal. 

Lynch's articles were always carefully prepared, 


thoughtful, argumentative, and convincing, and un- 
doubtedly performed a good work wherever read. 

He first became politically prominent in Mississippi 
in what is denominated as the "Dent- Alcorn" cam- 
paign of 1869, when he was nominated for the office 
of Secretary of State by the Republicans, made the 
canvass with the best speakers in the State, and was 
duly elected and qualified, and up to the time of his 
decease had ably and efficiently filled all the require- 
ments of that important and responsible position. 

Mr. Lynch was of a brown, or coffee color, a little 
below the medium size, good features, gentlemanly and 
kind-hearted, a genial companion, and well beloved by 
all who knew him. He died on the 18th of December, 


The subject of this sketch is a native of the State of 
New Jersey, and was born in Burlington County, on 
the 7th of October, 1821. He was brought up on a 
farm owned by his father and mother, Levin and 
Charity Still. The immediate neighborhood of his 
birth-place afforded but little advantage for the edu- 
cation of the poorer class of whites, much less for col- 
ored children, who had to meet the negro -hating 
prejudice of those times; yet William's thirst for 
knowledge and love of books created in his favor a 
good impression with the teacher of the common school, 
which obtained for the lad a quarter's schooling, and 
some additional aid on rainy days. 

The colored boy's companions were all white, nev- 


ertheless his good behavior, earnest zeal, and rapid 
advancement gained him the friendship of both teacher 
and scholars, and did much to break down the preju- 
dice against the colored race in that vicinity. 

By assiduous study and outside aid he became pro- 
ficient in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and, as age 
advanced, paid considerable attention to the classics. 

The harsh prejudice of race which William Still was 
called upon to meet in his business intercourse with 
the whites, early made him deeply interested in the 
cause of freedom, then being advocated by the Aboli- 
tionists, and he became a subscriber to one of their 
weekly journals. At this time he was the only col- 
ored man in the town that took such a paper, and it 
was hard work, with his small wages, to meet its sub- 
scription and postage demands. 

Seeing the bad effects of the use of intoxicating 
liquors in the community, Mr. Still early adopted the 
principles of temperance, to which he tenaciously 
clings to the present day. 

Well-grounded in moral, religious, and temperance 
views, William Still, at the age of twenty-three years, 
went to the city of Philadelphia to reside. 

Although the temptations of the great Babel were 
laid before him, his early convictions kept him from 

The long connection of William Still with the anti- 
slavery office in Philadelphia, his intimate relationship 
with the Pennsylvania Abolitionists, a body of men 
and women of whom too much cannot be said in their 
praise', and the deep interest he felt in the fleeing 
bondmen passing through that city to Canada, has 


brought hirn very prominently before the American 

Mr. Still is well educated, has good talents, and has 
cultivated them. He is an interesting and forcible 
writer, and some of the stories of escaped slaves, 
which he has recently put forth in his valuable work, 
4 'The Underground Railroad," point him out as one of 
the best benefactors of his race. After the be<rin- 
ning of the war of the slaveholders had made it certain 
that slavery would be abolished, and the close of the 
anti-slavery office in Philadelphia, Mr. Still went into 
the coal trade, by which he has become independent. 

Upright and honest in all his dealings, a faithful 
friend, blameless in his family relations, an affectionate 
husband and father, we have always taken pride in 
putting forth William Still as a model man. 

The subject of this sketch is of medium size, una- 
dulterated in race, prominent and regular features, 
always a smile upon his countenance, affable, humor- 
ous, neat in his person, gentlemanly in his deport- 
ment, and interesting in his conversation. With all 
classes of good men and women who know him, both 
colored and white, no man stands higher, or is re- 
garded with more confidence, than William Still. 


As an acute thinker, an eloquent and splendid 
speaker, possessing rare intellectual gifts, fine educa- 
tion with large culture, a moral nature full of sympa- 
thy and benevolence for all mankind, Peter H. Clark 


justly stands in the foremost rank of the noted men of 
his race. Although not an old man, Mr. Clark has, 
for the past quarter of a century, taken a prominent 
part in all of the great conventions called to consider 
the condition, and the best means for the moral, social, 
and political elevation of the colored population of the 
United States. Mr. Clark was associated with Fred- 
erick Douglass in the editorial management of the 
* 'North Star" twenty years ago, and his articles were 
always fresh, vigorous, and telling. 

In the various political contests in the State of Ohio 
for the last ten years, he has taken a,foremost position, 
and his appearance at public meetings in Hamilton 
County has done much towards annihilating the preju- 
dice so rampant in that section. 

His argumentative speeches, scholastic attainments, 
and gentlemanly bearing, have been of untold benefit to 
his race throughout Ohio. 

During the Rebellion, when the colored citizens of 
Cincinnati were sorely and cruelly abused, Peter H. 
Clark stepped forward as their representative man, and 
nobly did he do his duty. 

The history of "The Black Brigade,' ' written at 
that time, did him great credit, and was of immense 
value to the black man. 

Mr. Clark is a resident of Cincinnati, and is the 
principal of the Gaines High School in that city. To 
him, probably more than to any other man, are the 
colored people there indebted for the inculcation of the 
creditable desire for education and advancement true 
of them. 

He is somewhat below the middle size, thin, sharp 
features, bright eye, rather of a dyspeptic appearance, 


hospitable and kind, upright and gentlemanly in all 
the relations of life, with a host of admirers wherever 
he is known. No man has been truer to his oppressed 
people than Peter H. Clark, and none are more de- 
serving of their unlimited confidence than he. 

To the pen of Mr. Clark we are indebted for the 
sketch of John I. Gaines, in this work. 


Mrs. Harper is a native of Maryland, and wlt§ born 
in Baltimore, in 1825, of free parents. What she was 
deprived of in her younger days in an educational 
point of view, she made up in after years, and is now 
considered one of the most scholarly and well-read 
women of the day. Her poetic genius was early de- 
veloped, and some of her poems, together with a few 
prose articles, with the title of "Forest Leaves, " were 
published, and attracted considerable attention, even 
before she became known to the public through her 
able platform orations. 

An article on "Christianity, " by Mrs. Harper, will 
stand a comparison with any paper of the kind in the 
English language. 

Feeling deeply the injury inflicted upon her race, 
she labored most effectually by both pen and speech 
for the overthrow of slavery, and for ten years before 
the commencement of the Rebellion, the press through- 
out the free states recorded her efforts as amongst the 
ablest made in the country. 


Few of our American poets have written verses more 
pointed against existing evils, than Frances Ellen 
Harper. Her eloquent poem, "To the Union Savers 
of Cleveland," on the return of a fugitive slave to her 
master at the South, will always be read with a feeling 
of indignation against the people of the North who 
could suffer such things to be clone. 

"The Slave Mother" will stand alongside of Whit- 
tier's best poems on the "Peculiar Institution." The 
poems on "The Proclamation," and the "Fifteenth 
Amendment," will be read by her race with delight in 
after ages. 

All of Mrs. Harper's writings are characterized by 
chaste language, much thought, and a soul-stirring 
ring that are refreshing to the reader. 

As a speaker, she ranks deservedly high; her argu- 
ments are forcible, her appeals pathetic, her logic 
fervent, her imagination fervid, and her delivery 
original and easy. Mrs. Harper is dignified both in 
public and in private, yet witty and sociable. She is 
the ablest colored lady who has ever appeared in 
public in our country, and is an honor to the race she 

In person, Mrs. Harper is tall, and of neat figure; 
mulatto in color, bright eyes, smiling countenance, and 
intelligent in conversation. 


Mr. Butler is a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, 
and came to the States in 1853. Three years later, he 


was ordained by Eev. William H. Bishop, and began 
as a preacher of the Zion M. E. Church. He is now 
pastor of St. Mark's Church, New York. For the 
past three or four years, Mr. Butler has taken an active 
part in the politics of the Empire State, and was sent 
as a delegate to the National Eepublican Convention 
that nominated General Grant for his second term, 
and in which assembly he exercised considerable influ- 
ence with the colored delegates from the South. 

Mr. Butler is a man of good education, well read, 
of retentive memory, able in debate, quick to take ad- 
vantage of an opponent, an eloquent, extemporaneous 
speaker, and popular with the masses. 

He is considered "headstrong" by the older preach- 
ers of "Zion," and came out from that connection a 
few years since, and has built up the church over which 
he now presides. He has great energy and force of 
character, and will generally be found in the front 
rank, rather than as a follower. In stature, Mr. 
Butler is below the medium, of neat figure, genteel 
in appearance, of mixed blood, sharp, bright eyes, 
pleasing countenance, easy in manners, and interesting 
in conversation. He is about thirty years of age. In all 
emergencies, he has been considered true to his race, 
and may be regarded as a representative man. 


Mr. Chester is a native of Pennsylvania, and is by 
profession, a lawyer. He spent some years in Liberia, 
returned home, and took an honorable part in the 


war of the Rebellion. He has travelled extensively 
in Europe, making a good impression wherever he 
appeared. In 1867, Hon. C. M. Clay, Minister to 
Russia, in a correspondence with the State Department 
at Washington, said of Mr. Chester's visit to St. 
Petersburg : — 

"Sir: — Captain T. Morris Chester, late of the 
United States Volunteer Army, being ^in St. Peters- 
burg, coming well recommended by distinguished citi- 
zens of the United States, and being also well educated, 
and of good address, I called upon the minister of 
foreign affairs, and told him that I would not apply 
in the usual way, by note, to have Captain Chester, a 
colored American citizen, presented to his Imperial 
Majesty, as there was no precedent, and I did not 
know how his Imperial Majesty would be disposed to 
act; but I desired that he would approach his Impe- 
rial Majesty in an informal way, and ascertain his 
wishes in this regard. The assistant minister of for- 
eign affairs, Mr. De Westmann, acquiesced in the pro- 
posal, and, in a few days, wrote me that the Emperor 
had given orders to have Captain Chester's name put 
upon the list of persons for the first presentation. 

"To-day being the occasion of a grand review of 
the imperial guard, the Emperor sent an invitation to 
Captain Chester to assist in the review, which he did, 
riding 5 around with his Imperial Majesty's staff, and 
taking lunch at the winter palace with the staff offi- 
cers and a portion of the Imperial family, who accom- 
panied the Emperor at the lunch. 

"I have made these facts known to you, as I regard 
the affair of some importance. We have four millions 


01 colored citizens; they are with us, and of us, for 
good as well as evil. 

' 'I think that it is the duty of all good citizens to 
try and elevate the African race in America, and in- 
spire them with all possible self-respect, and prepare 
them for that ultimate influence which they must 
sooner or later have, upon the political and economical 
interests of the United States. These are the views 
which have influenced my action in this case, which, 
not partisan in their character, I should hope would 
be satisfactory to all patriotic Americans." 

Mr. Chester is of pure African origin, a splendid 
looking man, with manners highly cultivated. 


Joseph J. Clinton is a native of Philadelphia, born 
October 3, 1823, possesses a good, common-school edu- 
cation, studied at the Alleghany Institute, but did not 
graduate. He was apprenticed to Francis Chew, a 
hair-worker, and learned that trade. At the age of 
fifteen, he experienced religion, joined the Zion Metho- 
dist denomination, and became an ardent advocate of 
the cause of Christ. He began as a lay preacher, at 
the early age of seventeen. At eighteen, he went into 
business for himself in the hair work, yet continued 
dispensing the Gospel to those who would hear. 

In 1843, Bishop Clinton was ordained an elder, and 
in 1856, was made bishop. During the civil war, he 
spent almost his entire time at the South. As chap- 
lain of the First United States Colored Regiment, 
Colonel Holman, Mr. Clinton did a good work 


amongst his race. He did not confine himself to mere 
camp duties, but performed a mission work which had 
its influence amongst the slaves, far and wide. Seeing 
that the spread of the Gospel was of greater importance 
than remaining with a regiment, Bishop Clinton gave 
himself entirely up to gospel missionary work. He 
organized ten conferences, ordained and licensed seven 
hundred ministers, admitted two hundred thousand 
members in the denomination, brought one hundred 
thousand children into the Sabbath School, and trav- 
elled in all of the Southern States. In 1869, he visited 
California, and organized a conference in San Fran- 

In person, Bishop Clinton is stout, fleshy, and well- 
proportioned. He has a full face, which indicates the 
best of health and happy contentment; countenance 
mild, benignant and thoughtful, with an expression of 
integrity, denoting his inability to do a mean thing. 
The bishop is a good declaimer, and the outbursting and 
overwhelming effusions of his natural eloquence, the 
striking originality of his conceptions, the irresistible 
power of his captivating voice, the vivid and copious 
display of illustration, thrill and charm the hearer. 
He is justly popular with the public, as well as with his 
own denomination. He presides in the conferences with 
great dignity and impartiality, deciding questions ac- 
cording to Cushing and justice, and without fear or 
favor. Bishop Clinton resides in the city of Phila- 
delphia, surrounded by a loving family and a host of 
admiring friends. 



Dr. Tanner is the editor of the "Christian Re- 
corder/' the organ of the African Methodist Episco- 
pal Church (Bethel) . He is a mulatto of medium size, 
modest and genteel, social and pleasant in conversa- 
tion, and has a classical education. Tanner's "Apol- 
ogy for African Methodism," is the ablest written 
work yet produced upon that subject. In it, he em- 
ploys facts and statistics, but the} 7 have the varied 
beauty of the rainbow, and the golden glow of the 
sunlight, when viewed through the prism of his rich 
imagination. There arc but few men who can excel 
him in description; indeed, he wields a masterly pen 
in that department of literature, every idea being full 
of thought. As editor of "The Recorder," he has 
written many witty, pithy, and brilliant sentiments. 
There is a tinge of opulent fancy running through his 
editorials which always refreshes one. As a speaker, 
Dr. Tanner ranks well, being fluent, ready, easy in his 
manner, and reliable in his statements. 

The wide reputation of his journal, outside of his 
own denomination, is probably the best test of his 
ability as a newspaper conductor. He has done much 
to build up Methodism among our people, and to incul- 
cate the feeling for a better educated ministry, which 
is everywhere needed. Dr. Tanner's efforts towards 
the elevation of his race have been of lasting good, 
and, as he is still a young man, we look forward to his 
accomplishing more in the large field before him. As 
a citizen of Philadelphia, he is enterprising, energetic, 
and works for the public good. He is highly respected 


by all classes, and justly holds the position of a repre- 
sentative man, whose title was gained by merit, and 
not by favor. 


Singleton T. Jones is a native of Pennsylvania, 
and is about fifty years of age. He is tall, and of a 
fine figure, pleasing countenance, bright eye, and un- 
adulterated in race and color. He commenced travel- 
ling as a preacher of the Zion Methodist denomination 
in the year 1847, and was ordained a bishop in 1868. 
He is a man of surpassing power and eloquence. His 
sermons are brilliant with unmeasured poetry, and 
abound in wit, invective, glowing rhetoric, and logic. 

The bishop often surprises his attentive listeners 
with his historical knowledge. When in the pulpit, he 
throws light on the subject by the coruscations of his 
wit, drives home a truth by solid argument, and 
clinches it by a quotation from Scripture, and a thrilling 
and pointed appeal which moves his audience like a 
shock from an electric battery. No one sleeps under 
the preaching of Bishop Jones, for he has long been 
considered the most eloquent man in his denomination. 
His character is without a blemish, and he is blest 
with a large circle of friends, and the happiest family 


Born a slave at the South, and escaping to the 
free states some thirty years ago, Jermin W. Loguen 


passed through the fiery ordeal that awaited every 
fugitive lecturer or preacher in those days. He was 
among the earliest of those to take stock in the under- 
ground railroad, and most nobly did he do his work. 
For more than twenty years Bishop Loguen labored in 
season and out of season, in western New York, as an 
efficient conductor on the road, helping the fugitive 
on his way to Canada. As a lecturer, his varied expe- 
rience, eloquent and effective speeches, did much to 
change public opinion in behalf of liberty. 

As a preacher, he was very popular with the Zion 
Methodist denomination, with whom he acted. His 
education was limited, yet he used good language, both 
in his sermons and addresses. He was made a bishop 
some time about 1868, and discharged his duties with 
credit to himself, and satisfaction to his people. 

But Bishop Loguen will be remembered longer for 
his humanitarian work. If to have been true and 
faithful to the cause of his people in the day of their 
sorrow and destitution, when friends were few, and 
enemies were many; if to have been eyes to the blind, 
legs to the lame, bread to the hungry, and shelter to 
the outcast of our afflicted and hunted people when it 
was the fashion in America to hunt men ; if to have 
devoted a whole life to works of humanity and justice, 
entitles a man to the respect and esteem of his fellow- 
men, and especially, of the class benefited, Jermin W. 
Loguen has well earned such respect and esteem. 

In person, he was of large frame, of mixed blood, 
strong, manly voice, fine countenance, genteel in his 
manners, and interesting in conversation. He died in 



"The National Monitor' ' is a wide-awake journal, 
edited by Rufus L. Perry, a live man, in every sense of 
the term. As corresponding secretary of "The Con- 
solidated American Educational Association," Mr. 
Perry has been of great benefit to the cause of educa- 
tion at the South amongst the freedmen who so much 
need such efforts. His society is mainly engaged in 
sending into the field approved missionary preachers 
and teachers: or^anizin^ schools and missions on a 
self-sustaining basis, in the more interior portions of 
the South; looking up, and having on hand, qualified 
colored teachers, to send out as they may be called for. 

The association is under the auspices of the Baptist 
denomination, and the "National Monitor," of which 
Mr. Perry is editor, may be termed an organ of that 
sect. The columns of the paper show well the versa- 
tile character of the gentleman whose brain furnishes 
the mental food for its readers, and the cause of its 
wide-spread popularity. 

Mr. Perry is a self-made man, well educated, posses- 
sing splendid natural abilities, an able and eloquent 
speaker, popular with other religious bodies as well as 
his own, and makes himself generally useful wherever 
he may happen to be. He is devotedly attached to his 
race, and never leaves a stone unturned to better their 
moral, social, religious, and political condition. 

As a resident of Brooklyn, New York, his influence 
is felt in building up and maintaining the character of 
the colored people. Mr. Perry is considered one of 
the most efficient of the Baptist clergymen of the 
"City of Churches." 



A native of Loudon County, Virginia, born in Lees- 
burg, in 1815, of free parents, Leonard A. Grimes was 
subjected to all the disabilities that his race had to 
endure in the South, except being a bonud slave. 
While yet a bov, young Grimes went to Washington, 
where he was employed in a butcher's shop, and after- 
wards in an apothecary's establishment. He subse- 
quently hired himself out to a slaveholder, whose 
confidence he soon gained. Accompanying his em- 
ployer in some of his travels in the remote South, he 
had an opportunity of seeing the different phases of 
slave life; and its cruelty created in his mind an early 
hatred to the institution, which lasted him during his 
loin? and eventful career. 

On his return to Washington, the subject of this 
sketch began to take an interest in the underground 
railroad, and to him many escaped slaves were in- 
debted for their freedom. A free colored man with a 
slave wife and seven children appealed to Mr. Grimes 
to aid them to escape, for the wife and children were 
to be carried to the far South. Through the kindness 
of this good man the family succeeded in reaching 
Canada, where they were free. Search was made for 
the family, suspicion fell upon Grimes as the author 
of their escape, he was tried, found guilty, and sent to 
the state prison at Richmond for two years. 

At the expiration of his imprisonment, Mr. Grimes 
returned to Washington, and soon removed to New 
Bedford, Massachusetts, where he resided two years, 
and then came to Boston . A small Baptist congregation 
was worshipping in a hall at this time, and they called 


Mr. Grimes to be their pastor. In this new field of 
labor he soon began to show the great executive ability 
which was to be a blessing to his race in Boston. The 
Twelfth Baptist Church, of which he was the head for 
a quarter of a century, and the congregation, consisting 
of some of the better class of the colored citizens of 
the metropolis, is a monument that no one need be 
ashamed of. Mr. Grimes was an ardent anti-slavery 
man, when many of his clerical brethren were on the 
other side of the question. 

Mr. Grimes was a man of great amiability of charac- 
ter, with always a cheering word and a smile for those 
with whom he came in contact. As a preacher, he 
was a man of power, though he was not an easy 
speaker. He was a mulatto of fine appearance, good 
manners, dignified, and courteous. No man was more 
beloved by his friends or respected by the community. 
At his funeral, which occurred in March, 1873, more 
than fifty carriages were among the long cortege that 
followed his remains. It is not often that a man leaves 
the world with fewer enemies or more substantial friends 
than Leonard A. Grimes. 


John Sella Martin is a native of the State of North 
Carolina, and was born at Charlotte, in 1832. He was 
the slave of his master, who sold him while he was yet 
a child. Part of his life was passed in Georgia and 
Louisiana, from the latter of which States he escaped 
in 1856. Mr. Martin resided some time at Chicago, 


studied for the ministry at Detroit, and was first settled 
over a church at Buffalo. lie came to Boston in 1859, 
and was introduced to the public at Tremont Temple, 
by Rev. Mr. Kalloch, for whom he preached several 
weeks, during that gentleman's vacation. The im- 
pression which Mr. Martin made while at the Temple 
was very favorable; and after supplying a pulpit for 
some time at Lawrence, he was settled over the Joy 
Street Baptist Church in Boston. He has Bince preached 
in New York and Washington, hut is now engaged in 
politics, having renounced the ministry three or four 
years since. 

Mr. Martin has visited England three times, and is 
well informed upon mailers pertaining to that country, 
as well as this. He is an easy speaker, fluent and 
ready, and gives the impression of a man well informed 
on the suhjeet upon which he talks. He was, for a 
time, editor of the "National Era," and then corre- 
sponding editor of the same paper. However, he lacks 
stability of purpose. In his newspaper articles, Mr. 
Martin evinces considerable literary ability. In per- 
son, he is of mixed blood, gentlemanly in his appear- 
ance, and refined in his manners. 


For eight or ten years previous to the break- 
ing out of the Rebellion, all who frequented anti- 
slavery conventions, lectures, picnics, and fairs, could 
not fail to have seen a black woman of medium size, 
upper front teeth gone, smiling countenance, attired in 
coarse, but neat apparel, with an old-fashioned reticule, 


or bag, suspended by her side, and who, on taking her 
seat, would at once drop off into a sound sleep. 
This woman was Harriet Tubman* better known as 

She first came to Boston in 1854, and was soon 
a welcome visitor to the homes of the leading Aboli- 
tionists, who were always attentive listeners to her 
strange and eventful stories. Her plantation life, 
where she was born a slave at the South, was cruelly 
interesting. Her back and shoulders, marked with the 
biting lash, told how inhuman was the institution from 
which she had fled. A blow upon the head had caused 
partial deafness, and inflicted an injury which made 
her fall asleep the moment she was seated. Moses had 
no education, yet the most refined person would listen 
for hours while she related the intensely interesting 
incidents of her life, told in the simplest manner, but 
always seasoned with good sense. 

During her sojourn in Boston, Moses made several 
visits to the South, and it was these that gave her the 
cognomen of "Moses." Men from Canada, who had 
made their escape years before, and whose families 
were still in the prison-house of slavery, would seek 
out Moses, and get her to go and bring their dear ones 
away. How strange ! This woman, — one of the most 
ordinary looking of her race; unlettered; no idea of 
geography; asleep half of the time, — would penetrate 
the interior slave states, hide in the woods during the 
day, feed on the bondsman's homely fare at night, 
bring off whole families of slaves, and pilot them to 
Canada, after running the gauutlet of the most difficult 
parts of the Southern country. No fugitive was ever 
captured who had Moses for a leader. 


While in Canada, in 1860, we met several whom this 
woman had brought from the land of bondage, and 
they all believed that she had supernatural power. 
Of one man we inquired, "Were you not afraid of 
being caught?" 

"O, no," said he, "Moses is got de charm. ,, 

"What do you mean?" we asked. 

He replied, "De whites can't catch Moses, kase 
you see she's born wid de charm. De Lord has given 
Moses de power." 

Yes, and the woman herself felt that she had the 
charm, and this feeling, no doubt, nerved her up, gave 
her courage, and made all who followed her feel safe 
in her hands. 

When the war broke out, instinct called Moses into 
active service, and she at once left for the South. 
Long before Butler's "Contraband of War" doctrine 
was recognized by the government, Moses was hanging 
upon the outskirts of the Union army, and doing good 
service for those of her race who sought protection in 
our lines. When the Negro put on the "blue," Moses 
was in her glory, and travelled from camp to camp, 
being always treated in the most respectful manner. 
These black men would have died for this woman, for 
they believed that she had a charmed life. 

It is said that General Burnside, on one occasion, 
sent Moses into the enemy's camp, and that she re- 
turned in due time, with most valuable information. 
During the last year of the Rebellion, she had in her 
possession a paper, the presentation of which always 
gained for her a prompt passage through any part of 
the Union lines. 
Moses followed Sherman in his march "From Atlanta 


to the Sea," and witnessed the attack on Petersburg. 
The great deference shown her by the Union offi- 
cers, who never failed to tip their caps when meeting 
her, and. the strange stories told of her pioneer adven- 
tures, and the substantial aid given by her to her own 
race, has left with them a lasting impression that 
Moses still holds "the charm." 


Mary Ann Shadd Carey is a native of Delaware, 
and has resided for several years in Canada. She is 
tall and slim, with a fine head, which she carries in a 
peculiar manner. She has good features, intellectual 
countenance, bright, sharp eyes, that look right through 
you. She holds a legitimate place with the strong- 
minded women of the country. 

Mrs. Carey received a far better education than usu- 
ally fell to the lot of the free colored people of her 
native State, and which she greatly improved. She 
early took a lively interest in all measures tending to 
the elevation of her race, and has, at various times, 
filled the honorable positions of school teacher, school 
superintendent, newspaper publisher and editor, lec- 
turer, and travelling agent. As a speaker, she ranks 
deservedly high; as a debater, she is quick to take 
advantage of the weak points of her opponent, forcible 
in her illustrations, biting in her sarcasm, and wither- 
ing in her rebukes. 

Mrs. Carey is resolute and determined, and you 
might as well attempt to remove a stone wall with 
your little finger, as to check her in what she con- 


eeives to be right and her duty. Although she has 
mingled much in the society of men, attended many 
conventions composed almost exclusively of males, 
and trodden paths where women usually shrink to go, 
no one ever hinted aught against her reputation, and 
she stands with a record without blot or blemish. 
Had she been a man, she would probably have been 
with John Brown at Harper's Ferry. 

When the government determined to put colored 
men in the field to aid in suppressing the Rebellion, 
Mrs. Carey raised recruits at the West, and brought 
them on to Boston, with as much skill, tact, and order 
as any of the recruiting officers under the government. 
Her men were always considered the best lot brought 
to head-quarters. Indeed, the examining surgeon never 
failed to speak of Mrs. Carey's recruits as faultless. 
This proves the truth of the old adage, that "It takes 
a woman to pick out a good man." Few persons have 
done more real service for the moral, social, and politi- 
cal elevation of the colored race than Mrs. Carey. 
She is a widow, and still in the full-orbed womanhood 
of life, working on, feeling, as she says, "It is better 
to wear out, than to rust out." 


One of the most damaging influences that the insti- 
tution of slavery had on the colored population of the 
country, was to instill in the mind of its victim the 
belief that he could never rise above the position of a 
servant. The highest aspiration of most colored men, 


thirty years ago, was to be a gentleman's body servant, 
a steward of a steam-boat, head-waiter at a first-class 
hotel, a boss barber, or a boot-black with good patron- 
age, and four or five boys under him to do the work. 
Even at this day, although slavery has been abolished 
ten years, its spirit still clings to the colored man, 
and, more especially, at the North. To wait at parties, 
attend weddings and dinners, and above all, to be a 
caterer, seems to be the highest aim of our Northern 
young men, when, to be a good mechanic, would be 
far more honorable, and have greater tendency towards 
the elevation of the race. A few exceptions to what 
I have penned above are to be found occasionally, and 
one of these is the gentleman whose name heads this 

George L. Buff in was born in Richmond, Virginia, 
of free parents, and of course had limited educational 
opportunities. He came to Boston some twenty years 
ago, and followed the calling of a hairdresser up to 
about five years since, when he began the study of the 
law with Honorable Harvey Jewell. In due time, he 
was admitted to the bar, and is now in the enjoyment 
of a good practice in his profession. One of the most 
praiseworthy acts connected with Mr. Ruffin 's eleva- 
tion, is that he studied law while he was at his bar- 
ber's chair, and dependent upon it for a living. 

As a member of the Massachusetts Legislature, Mr. 
Ruffin exhibited scholarly attainments in his speeches 
that placed him at once amongst the foremost men of 
that body. As a speaker, he is interesting, for his ad- 
dresses show that he gives his subjects a thorough can- 
vassing before he delivers them. Mr. Ruffin is a good 


student, and is destined, we think, to rise still higher 
in his profession. 

He takes a deep interest in the elevation and welfare 
of his race, is prominent in all public meetings, has a 
happy faculty in discharging the duties of presiding 
officer, or chairman of a committee, and writes resolu- 
tions that arc readable, as well as to the purpose for 
which they are intended. Mr. Ruffin is highly re- 
spected in the community, and has done much in his 
dealings with prominent citizens to lift upward the 
standard of the colored man. He is of mixed blood, 
short, stout, with a rather pleasing cast of counte- 
nance, and features good to look upon. In speaking 
to our young men, we have often mentioned the career 
of Mr. Ruffin as worthy of imitation. 


Richard T. Greener is a graduate of Harvard Uni- 
versity, which, under ordinary circumstances, is con- 
sidered a passport to future usefulness and preferment. 
Soon after leaving college, he was invited to become a 
teacher in the institute for colored youth, at Philadel- 
phia. Here his labors were highly appreciated, and 
many regrets were manifested on his leaving to take 
charge of another institution of learning at Washington, 
where he now resides. 

Mr. Greener takes a deep interest in everything 
tending towards the development of the genius of the 
race, and has written some very readable articles on 
-education for the "New National Era." His writings 


exhibit considerable research, a mind well stored from 
English literature, and show that he is a man of 
industry and progress. Long before leaving college, 
Mr. Greener gave evidence of possessing talents for 
the platform, and recent speeches and addresses place 
him in the advanced ground in the art of oratory. 

Mr. Greener is a mulatto, and, in personal appear- 
ance, is of medium size, good figure, well-balanced 
head, intellectual face, interesting conversationalist, 
and eager for distinction. Mr. Greener is not more 
than twenty-eight or thirty years of age, and has before 
him a brilliant future. He is a good representative of 
our rising young men, and is well calculated to inspire 
the youth of the country with noble feelings for self- 
elevation. His motto is "the young men to the 
front." But he should remember that while the young 
men may take a legitimate place at the front, the old 
men must not be asked to take a back seat. The race 
cannot afford, yet a while, to dispense with the services 
of the "Old Guard." , 


The senior editor of the "New National Era" is the 
eldest son of Frederick Douglass, and inherits a large 
share of the father's abilities. He was born in Massa- 
chusetts, has a liberal education, is a practical prin- 
ter, received excellent training in the office of "The 
North Star," at Eochester, New York, and is well 
calculated to conduct a newspaper. Mr. Douglass 
distinguished himself at the attack on Fort Wagner, 


where the lamented Colonel Robert G. Shaw fell. His 
being the first to ascend the defences surrounding the 
fort, and his exclamation of "Come, boys, we'll fight 
for God and Governor Andrew," was at the time com- 
mented upon by the press of Europe as well as of our 
own country. 

Mr. Douglass is an active, energetic man, deeply 
alive to every interest of his race, uncompromising in 
his adherence to principle, and is a valuable citizen in 
any community. He has held several important posi- 
tions in Washington, where his influence is great. 
He is a good writer, well informed, and interesting in 
conversation. In asserting his rights against the pre- 
scriptive combinations of the printers of Washington, 
Mr. Douglass was more than a match for his would-be 
superiors. As a citizen, he is highly respected, and is 
regarded as one of the leading men of the district. He 
is of medium size, a little darker in complexion than 
the father, has a manly walk, gentlemanly in his man- 
ners, intellectual countenance, and reliable in his busi- 
ness dealings. His paper, the "New National Era," 
is well conducted, and should receive the patronage of 
our people throughout the country. 


Mr. Cain is well known as a Methodist preacher of 
some note, having been a leading man in that denomi- 
nation for many years. During the Rebellion he took 
up his residence in South Carolina, where his good 
judgment, industry, and executive ability gave him 


considerable influence with his race. In the Consti- 
tutional and Reconstruction Conventions Mr. Cain 
took an active part, and in the State Legislature, gave 
unmistakable evidence of a knowledge of state affairs. 
He has been called to fill several positions of honor 
and trust, and discharged his duties with signal ability. 

The moral, social, religious, and political elevation 
of his people has long claimed a large share of Mr. 
Cain's time and attention. 

As an editor, he exhibited much literary tact and 
talent in conducting his paper, urging in its columns 
education, character, and wealth, as a basis for man's 
elevation. In 1872, he was elected to Congress, rep- 
resenting the city of Charleston. As a politician, Mr. 
Cain stands high in his State, being considered one of 
their ablest stump-speakers, and stump- speaking is re- 
garded at the South as the best quality of an orator* 
Mr. Cain is nearly pure in blood, rather under the 
medium size, bright eye, intelligent countenance, 
strong, loud voice, energetic in his actions, throwing 
some dramatic fervor into his elocutionary powers, 
and may be termed an enthusiastic speaker. Gentle- 
manly in his manners, blameless in his family rela- 
tions, staunch in his friendship, honest in his dealings 
with his fellow-men, Mr. Cain may be regarded as a 
representative man, and an able one, too. 


In no state in the Union have the colored people 
had greater obstacles thrown in the way of their moral, 


social, and political elevation, than in Pennsylvania. 
Surrounded by a population made up of the odd ends 
of all countries, the German element predominating, 
with a large sprinkling of poor whites from the 
Southern States, holdiug prejudice against the race, 
the blacks of Pennsylvania have had a hard struggle. 
Fortunately, however, for them, there were scattered 
over the State a few representative men, who, by their 
industry, honesty, and moral courage did much to 
raise the character and standard of the colored man. 

Foremost among these was Stephen Smith, who, 
while a young man began life as a lumberman in 
Columbia, where, for twenty-five years, he was one of 
the principal dealers in that business. By upright 
and patient labor, Mr. Smith amassed a fortune, re- 
moved to the city of Philadelphia, where he has since 
resided, and where he has long been one of the pillars 
of society. 

For many years, the subject of this sketch has been 
an acceptable preacher in the Methodist denomination, 
to which sect he has given liberally of his vast 
means. Several years ago, Mr. Smith built a church 
at his own expense, and gave it to his people. More 
recently, he has erected and endowed an asylum for 
the poor of his race. 

Mr. Smith is a mulatto, of medium size, strongly 
built, fascinating countenance, yet plain looking, with 
indelibly marked features. He is now in the sunset 
of life, and his head is thickly sprinkled with gray 
hairs. Although he is in the autumn of his years, 
he is still vigorous, attending to his own business, 
preaching occasionally, and looking after the interest 
of "our people." 


Always interested in the elevation of man, few have 
done more for his race than Stephen Smith. He is 
highly respected, and has the entire confidence of the 
people of his own city, as well as all who enjoy his 


Thirty years ago, the underground railroad was in 
full operation, and many daring attempts were made 
by Northern men to aid slaves in their escape to a 
land of freedom. In some instances, both the fugi- 
tives and their friends were captured, taken back, 
tortured, and imprisoned. The death of the Rev. 
Charles T. Torrey, in the Maryland Penitentiary, for 
helping away a family of slaves; the branding of 
Jonathan Walker for the same offence ; the capture of 
Captain Daniel Drayton for bringing off a number of 
bondmen in his vessel, the "Pearl; ' and the long and 
cruel imprisonment of the Rev. Calvin Fairbanks, are 
historical facts well known to the old Abolitionists. 

The subject of this sketch was born in Lexington, 
Kentucky, where he spent his early days in slavery. 
Lewis Hayden and his family made their escape from 
the State of Kentucky in the year 1846, by the assist- 
ance of the Rev. Calvin Fairbanks and Miss Delia A. 
Webster. Both of the above persons suffered cruelly, 
for their kindness to the fugitives. Miss Webster, 
after several months' imprisonment, was liberated, but 
Mr. Fairbanks remained in the State Prison at Frank- 
fort, Kentucky, more than ten years, during which 
time everything was done by officials of the prison to 
make his confinement as painful as possible. 


To the great credit of Mr. Hayden, he labored 
faithfully to secure the release of his friend, and was, 
we believe, the means of shortening his sufferings. 

With his family, Mr. Hayden took up his residence 
in Boston, where he has since remained, and where 
he now enjoys the respect and confidence of a large 
circle of friends. 

Daring the reign of terror, caused by the attempt 
to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law, in the return of 
escaped bondmen, Mr. Hayden became conspicuous as 
one of the most faithful friends of his race, daring 
everything for freedom, never shrinking from any 
duty, and never counting the cost. 

For the past dozen years, he has held a situation at 
the State House, and, last winter, served in the Legis- 
lature, where his speeches and his votes were given 
for reform. 

While he does not attempt to be an orator, Mr. 
Hayden is, nevertheless, a very effective speaker. He 
is a man of common size, with little or no Anglo- 
Saxon blood, genteel in his manners, intelligent in 
conversation, and correct in all the relations of life. 


To be able to tell a story, and tell it well, is a gift, 
and not an acquirement; a gift that one may well be 
proud of. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch, 
left his sunny home in the Island of Jamaica, last 
autumn, and paid a flying visit to our country. We had 
heard of Mr. Murray as the able editor of the leading 


newspaper in Kingston, and, therefore, he was not an 
entire stranger to us. 

But his great powers as a lecturer, we were ignorant 
of. With a number of friends, we went one evening 
to listen to a lecture on "Life among the Lowly in 
Jamaica." The speaker for the occasion was Henry 
G. Murray, who soon began his subject. He was a 
man of fine personal appearance, a little inclined to 
corpulency, large, electric eyes, smiling countenance 
beaming with intelligence, and wearing the air of a 
well-bred gentleman. 

He commenced in a calm, cool, moderate manner, 
and did not depart from it during the evening. Mr. 
Murray's style is true to nature, and the stories which 
he gave with matchless skill, convulsed every one with 
laughter. He evinced talent for both tragic and comic 
representation, rarely combined. His ludicrous sto- 
ries, graphically told, kept every face on a grin from 
the commencement to the end. For pathos, genius, 
inimitable humor, and pungent wit, we have never seen 
his equal. He possesses the true vivida vis of elo- 
quence. Mr. Murray is a man of learning, accom- 
plishment, and taste, and will be warmly weclomed 
whenever he visits us again. 


Bishop Talbot is a native of Massachusetts, and was 
born in the town of Stoughton. He received a good, 
common-school education at West Bridge water, went 
to the West, and studied theology, and began to preach, 


at the age of twenty-five years. Returning East, he 
preached in Boston for two years, where he made many 
friends. He was ordained a bishop of the A. M. E. 
Zion Church, about nine years ago, and now resides in 
Washington, D. C. 

Bishop Talbot is about fifty-five years of age, of 
common size and stature, a dark mulatto, fine head, 
and thoughtful face, with but little of the negro cast 
of countenance. He is a good student, well read, and 
better informed than the clergy generally. 

As a speaker, he is sound, clear, thorough, and 
though not brilliant, is a very interesting preacher. 
His dignified, calm utterance has great power. He is 
much admired in the pulpit, and never lacks hearers. 

The absence of fire and brimstone in his sermons 
gives the bishop a gentlemanly air in the pulpit that 
strongly contrasts with his brethren of the cloth. He 
is a good presiding officer, and rules according to 
Cushing. Living a blameless life, having an unblem- 
ished reputation, and taking a deep interest in every- 
thing pertaining to the moral, social, and political 
condition of the race, Bishop Talbot is highly respected 
by all. 


Dr. Purvis is a son of Robert Purvis, the well- 
known philanthropist, and co-worker with William 
Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Lucretia Mott. 
When a boy, "Burleigh" often met us at the steamer 
or the cars, a number of miles away, took us to the 
homestead at Bybery, listened to our lecture in the 


"old hall," and then returned us to the train or boat 
the next morning, and always did it cheerfully, and 
with a smile. 

The subject of our sketch was born in Philadelphia, 
in 1841, received a collegiate education, graduating 
A. M. ; studied at the Cleveland Medical College, 
where, in 1864, he received the degree of M. D. He 
entered the army as acting-assistant surgeon during the 
summer of the same year. 

Dr. Purvis now resides at Washington, and holds 
the honorable position of Professor of Materia Medica 
and Jurisprudence in Howard University. The doctor 
takes a lively interest in the education and elevation 
of his race, and exercises considerable influence in the 
affairs of the District. 

He inherits much of his father's enthusiasm and ora- 
torical powers, and has spoken eloquently and success- 
fully in public meetings and conventions. 

By close attention to his profession, Dr. Purvis has 
taken a high rank as a physician. In complexion, he 
stands about half-way between the Anglo-Saxon and 
the negro, probably throwing in a little mite of In- 
dian. Like his father, the doctor is of fine personal 
appearance, dignified and gentlemanly in his manners, 
and respected by every one. 


That spicy and spirited weekly, "The Progressive 
American," is edited by the gentleman whose name 
heads this sketch. By his native genius, untiring in- 


dustry, and scholarly attainments, he has created and 
kept alive a newspaper that is a welcome guest in New 
5Tork, and the country around. As an editor, Mr. 
Freeman has been eminently successful, and his journal 
now ranks amongst the very best of our papers. His 
editorials exhibit more than ordinary tact and talent, 
and are always on the side of right, morality, and the 
elevation of man. He has long taken a leading part 
in state affairs, and has held prominent places in con- 
ventions and public meetings. 

As a speaker, he is interesting, and knows what he 
talks about. 

His speeches consist of strong arguments and spir- 
ited appeals. Personally, Mr. Freeman is sociable 
and affable in his manners, and hearty and pleasant in 
his address. In complexion, he is of a brown skin, 
with well-defined features, intellectual forehead, slim 
and straight, with a walk something akin to the In- 
dian. He is gentlemanly, upright, and correct in his 
intercourse with mankind, and highly respected as a 
man of advanced ideas. 


The subject of this sketch is a grandson of the late 
Rev. Thomas Paul, whose eloquence as a preacher is 
vividly remembered by Bostonians of forty years ago,. 
as one of the most entertaining of divines. Born in 
Boston, Elijah W. Smith is well known as one of her 
most respected citizens. He is by trade a printer, 
which he learned in the office of "The Liberator," 


with Wm. Lloyd Garrison, who always speaks of 
" Elijah " with the utmost respect. No one can read 
Mr. Smith's poems without a regret that he has written 
so little, and yet he has given us more poetry than 
any other colored American. Few living poets under- 
stand, better than he, the elements of true poetry. 

The evenness of his numbers, the polish of his diction, 
the rich melody of his musically-embodied thoughts, 
and the variety of his information, show that Nature 
has not been sparing in showering her gifts upon 

In his poetry Mr. Smith seeks to make mankind, 
and things around him, in harmony with a better state 
of moral existence. 

His contributions to literature will ever tend to 
delight and instruct the lovers of liberty and pure and 
refined society. Most of his articles have appeared in 
" The Boston Daily Traveller," and " The Saturday 
Evening Express." The longest poem contains thirty 

"Keep off the Grass," and "Welcome to Spring," 
shows the author's leaning towards Nature. "Crushed 
At Sedan," " Vive La France," and " A Plea for the Rec- 
ognition of Cuba," are the promptings of a sympathetic 
heart. " Peter and Joseph's Trip to Vermont " is full 
of humor, and shows that our author is at home in 
comic poetry. Mr. Smith's finer feelings find vent in 
those beautiful poems the "Winter Song of the Poor,'' 
and "Merry Christmas," either of which is enough to 
give a writer everlasting fame. 

The Republican Party owes our author a debt of 
gratitude for the lyrics he has contributed to its aid in 


this section. The following lines are from the beautiful 
and soul-stirring poem entitled "Freedom's Jubilee," 
read at a Ratification Meeting of the Fifteenth Amend- 
ment : 

" Glory to God ! for the struggle is ended, 
Glory to God ! for the victory won, 
Honor to those who the Right have defended, 
Through the long years since the conflict begun. 

" O, may the prayers of those ready to perish 
Guard them from harm like a girdle of fire ! 
Deep in our hearts their good deeds we will cherish, 
And to deserve them we'll ever aspire. 

" God ! at Thine altar in thanksgiving bending, 

Grant that our eyes Thy great goodness may see ; 
O, may Thy light, while the temple's veil rending, 
Show, through its portals, the path of the Free." 

"Our Lost Leader," written on the death of Charles 
Sumner, is one of Mr. Smith's best productions. "The 
Boston Daily Traveller " says : " This is a beautiful 
poem written by Elijah W. Smith, who is a true poet, 
and who has produced some of the best poetry called 
forth by the death of Mr. Sumner." 

We can only give the last verse : 

" Give us the faith to kneel around 
Our Country's shrine, and swear 
To keep alive the sacred flame 
That Sumner kindled there ! " 

The " Song of The Liberators " has in it the snap 
and fire that shows the author's sound appreciation of 
the workers for liberty. We give a few of those 
spirited verses, and regret that want of space prevents 
our placing the entire poem before the reader : 


" The battle-cry is sounding 

From every hill and vale, 
From rock to rock resounding, 

Now shall the tyrants quail. 
No more with chain and fetter, 

No more with prison cell, 
Shall despots punish heroes 

In the land they love so well. 

11 And thou, O Isle of Beauty, 
Thy plaintive cry is heard ; 
Throughout our wide dominions, 

The souls of men are stirred ; 
And rising in their manhood, 
They shout from sea to sea, 
' Destruction to the tyrants ! 
Fair Cuba shall be free ! ' " 

In person Mr. Smith is short, and inclined to be 
stout, with complexion of a light brown. 

His head is large and well developed ; the expression 
of his features are mild and good, his eyes are lively, 
and the urn of his face is graceful and full of 
sensibility, and delicately susceptible of every impres- 

Still on the sunny side of fifty, and being of studious 
habits and an impassioned lover of Nature, we may 
yet look for valuable contributions from his versatile 

We hope, ere long, to see his poems given to the 
reading public in a collected form, for we are sure 
that they would be a prized accession to the current 
literature of the day, besides the valuable work they 
would do for the elevation of his own race. 

Mr. Smith has written more than sixty poems, one 
of which will be found in the fore-part of this volume. 

"My Southern Home 


Or, the South and Its People. 


The following are some of the comments of the Press : — 

"This book may well be termed the great inside view of the South. It runs back for 
fifty years, and gives the state of society in the olden time. For wit and humor it has 
had no equal. Dr. Brown faces the whole problem of the negroes' past and future in a 
manly, sensible, incisive way." — Daily Advertiser, Boston. 

" The work is full of spicy incidents and anecdotes."— The Commonwealth, Boston. 

"The book is very entertaining and suggestive, and will be read with pleasure and 
profit." — Zion's Herald, Boston. 

" Dr. Brown has given us an interesting book."— The Journal, Boston. 

"A racy book, brim full of instruction, wit, and humor, and will be read with 
delight."— Daily Transcript, Boston. 

" Dr. Brown has written a very interesting and instructive volume upon the South 
and its people at the present time. The book is illustrated with an engraving of the 
author, which does no justice at all to the handsome features of one of the most able of 
the anti-slavery orators of the past generation." — Sunday Herald, Boston. 

" The most graphic and racy work yet written on the South and its people." — New 
York Times. 

" Dr. Brown gives an interesting picture of the South, discusses the Negro question 
with sound sense and logical force, and clearly points out to the proscribed colored 
man the way to rise and rank as a man among men. We commend the book to our 
readers." — The National Monitor, Brooklyn, N. T. 

"The style is easy and pleasing. The portrayal is wonderful. Throughout the 
work there is a vein of humor running which is a characteristic of the author, and 
creative of side-splitting laughter in its effect. Be sure and get the book." — Virginia 
Star, Richmond, Va. 

" * My Southern Home,' is a true and faithful picture of Southern Whites and 
Blacks. Bead the book by all means." — Herald and Pilot, Nashville, Tenn. 

"Dr. Brown has written an interesting book." — Fred Douglass. 

A. G. BROWN & CO., Publishers, Boston, Mass. 



Containing 380 Pages, Bound in Cloth, Price, $1.50. 

This splendid work was published in 1867, and nearly the 
whole edition was burnt in the great Boston fire, so that but few 
copies were sold. 

The universal demand now, for the only History which has 
done justice to the heroism of the colored Americans in the late 
war, induces us to get out this new edition. 

The following are some of the comments of the Press : — 

" William Wells Brown, H.D., the colored historian, is an author of whom the 
American Negro ought to feel proud. He has written much, and become popular as an 

•' Commencing with the first cargo of slaves landed in the Colonies in 1G20, Dr. 
Brown carries the Negro through the war of 1812, the John Brown Raid, and the 
Rebellion, portraying in a graphic manner the horrors of the slave-trade, the different 
struggles of individual Negroes for the freedom of themselves and brothers ; and finally 
gives a complete and detailed history of the part taken by the colored man in the late 
war, which showed to the world the true heroism and fidelity of the race. 

"The book is full of interesting and instructive facts, told in a fascinating way." — 
The National Monitor, Brooklyn, N. T. 

" Dr. Brown has laid his race under great obligations to him for writing this History 
of the services of the Negro in the Wars for American Liberty." — Wm. Lloyd Garrison. 

" The Negro in the Rebellion is a needed accession to our literature, and does the 
author great credit."— New York Tribune. 

" Every soldier of the war, and especially every colored soldier, will want this 
book."— New York Evening Post. 

A. G-. BROWN & CO., Publishers. Boston, Mass. 


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